Banker Yew wants to go out on a high by helping women's team to gold

Banker Yew wants to go out on a high by helping women's team to gold

As a centre forward, she loves the thrill of seeing her shots hit the back of the net.

For Adelyn Yew, that feeling took on a different significance in 2011, when women's water polo was finally added to the SEA Games programme for the first time.

The 30-year-old (above) told The New Paper: "It feels like we have come a long way since I first joined the national team after my A levels in 2003.

"Back then, we didn't get to compete in many competitions and we played in mostly invitational events in the region.

"Over the years, we persevered and trained in the hope of being able to play at the SEA Games and have a legacy like the men's team.

"We are very happy that everything has mostly fallen into place, although we were disappointed that the event wasn't included in the 2013 SEA Games."

Many doors have also opened since they won the gold medal at the 2011 Games, where Yew was the top scorer in the final with a hat-trick in the 11-9 win over hosts Indonesia.

Last year, they played at the Asian Games where they finished fifth, and also in the Fina Women's Water Polo World Cup where they came in eighth.

The exposure was miles apart from a decade ago, where they had trouble finding credible opponents and could only spar among teammates.

With a SEA Games gold under her belt, progress made in her sport, and this year's competition being held on home soil, Yew feels that it symbolises a coming of full circle.

But she has unfinished business. Reavealing that she is likely to retire from the national team after the Games to climb the corporate ladder, Yew wants to go out on a high.

"I'm a banker, a relationship manager with OCBC and I have a client-facing, sales-driven job," said the Singapore Swimming Association's women's water polo Player of the Year.

"I'm thankful I have bosses and colleagues who have been really understanding.

"Other than that, it's really down to discipline and time management to be able to juggle work and sport.

"Looking back, I started water polo because I was bored with competitive swimming and I was intrigued by its fast pace. I never knew it can be so challenging, fun and exciting, or that I would be in the national team for so long.

"It would really be a nice end to my time with the national team if we can defend our title in front of our fellow Singaporeans."

Victory will not come easy with Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines aiming to upset the hosts.

But Yew remains upbeat, and said: "We have been training hard. We went to China last month and played high-quality friendlies against the provincial sides who had national players in their teams.

"I feel we will have the edge at the SEA Games because we have depth in all the positions. We also have a good blend of experienced and young players.

"It's hard not to be associated with the men's winning streak. Winning in 2011 adds to the expectations, but it's up to us to cope with it. "We have played in the SEA Championships at home, so playing in front of a home crowd will not be something new.

"There's pressure on us to retain our title, but that's definitely our target."

This article was first published on May 02, 2015.
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