Pressure is part of the game

Pressure is part of the game

The Sports School will have 14 current student-athletes who will be competing at the 2015 South-east Asia (SEA) Games on home soil.

Among them are star shooter Martina Lindsay Veloso and tennis player Shaheed Alam, who are both well-equipped to handle the pressure of representing their country on home ground.

"It's my first SEA Games," Martina said. "There will definitely be pressure but what matters is how a person overcomes it.

"I shouldn't be thinking about anything else during the competition. I have to focus on what I need to do, instead."

The 16-year-old has gained much experience after participating at last year's Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympics.

She also made history last year when she became the first Singaporean to win the women's 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Cup.

Shaheed, 17, represented Singapore at the Longines Future Tennis Aces event in 2011.

"I still get nervous at the start of my matches, but I always manage to ease into the game within a few minutes," he said.

INTENSE COMPETITION

"I'll be going up against some intense competition at the SEA Games, so I just want to be able to have some good matches."

The Sports School athletes have deferred their studies for the time being to concentrate fully on their training. They will pick up from where they left off after the SEA Games, which will officially run from June 5 to 16.

"We don't have to worry about lagging behind because we usually go at our own pace for our studies and our class sizes are small," said Crystal Wong, 16, a Singapore shuttler.

The Sports School held a SEA Games send-off ceremony at Woodlands last night for their athletes as well as alumni, who were invited back for the event.

Silat exponents and brothers Sheik Farhan Sheik Alau'ddin, 17, and Sheik Firdaus Sheik Alau'ddin (right) , 19, were among the former students who were there.

The brothers are gunning for SEA Games gold and both agreed that it would be a special feeling to win on home ground.

"When you win at home, you have the crowd winning with you. You are not on your own," Sheik Firdaus said.

"There is also the immediate celebration right afterwards with friends and family to look forward to."

phgan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 28, 2015.
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