Jarryl’s personal double

Most student athletes would be more than happy to end their school sports season with one gold medal from their pet sport. Not Jarryl Chan.

Having played floorball since he was in Secondary 2, the Victoria Junior College student felt he was stagnating in the game.

Seeking a new challenge, Jarryl decided to take on hockey on top of his floorball commitments.

After slogging through both sports' training session, Jarryl's hard work paid off when he scored a personal double by helping VJC clinch the A Division titles for both stick sports - all while preparing for his A levels this year.

Despite his gruelling schedule to maintain his grades and sporting endeavours leaving him with just one rest day on Fridays, the 17-year-old has no regrets.

Jarryl told The New Paper: "I really lacked sleep. I had only maybe three to four hours per day.

"When I get home from training it was around 10 plus and I had to be up at 5am to get to school because I live in Sengkang.

"However, when I look back at my JC life 10 years down the road, I will not remember how much I've studied or how many As I got. I will think that I got the two gold medals for the school and myself.

"That's really special for me." It was definitely a special A Division hockey final on May 16 for Jarryl.

Equaliser

With defending champions Raffles Institution leading 1-0 at the Sengkang Hockey Centre, Jarryl scored a late equaliser for VJC to force extra time.

The game then went down to penalties, which saw the Victorians hold their nerve to triumph 3-2.

The result also gave the school a hockey double as the girls had won their earlier match against Anglo-Chinese Junior College 5-1.

Jarryl said: "The hockey final was a really special moment for me because, as the scorer, everyone will remember you and the goal came in the dying moments of the match.

"RI were favourites to win the championship and when we scored the equaliser, our coach told us that RI were worried because they had never been stretched so far before.

"He told us that, in penalties, RI would falter and lose. And true enough, they did."

Two weeks later, Jarryl, despite sporting a deep gash over his left eye from the semifinals, helped the VJC floorball team to a 6-2 win over Meridian Junior College to complete his personal double.

Najib Madina, VJC's teacher-in-charge of hockey, said: "Even though we knew he was a talented athlete, Jarryl, an excellent student, came to VJC purely on academic merit.

"I've only got the chance to interact with him this year, but his acumen as a sportsman is incredible.

"Our coach has never seen someone pick up hockey so quickly.

"While he has the composure and skill on the pitch, he is a humble, very nice and modest boy who got along with the hockey team really quickly."

With his school sports exploits now over, Jarryl will now turn his focus to his examinations.

As he is on the VJC's financial assistance scheme, the former Catholic High School student wants to repay his parents Charlie (a taxi driver) and Linda (works part-time) for their unwavering support.

"When I strive to do well in school and sports, I have this notion that I have to repay my parents next time because we are not very well to do," said Jarryl.

"I try my best not to buy my own equipment as I don't feel it's very fair for them because they work so hard to support my brother and me."

gregloo@sph.com.sg


Get The New Paper for more stories.