NJC shooter, SSS sprinter win TNP School Sports Star Award 2015

(From left) Ganesh Sooceleraj, senior project manager of Soilbuild group houldings; parents of Diane Hilary Pragasam, Singapore Sports School sprinter and The New Paper School Sports Star Award girls' winner; Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth; Wong Han Xuan, National Junior College shooter and The New Paper School Sports Star Award boys' winner; Wong's mother; Joel Vinson, First Toa Payoh Primary School teacher and recipient of the S Sooceleraj Award; and Dominic Nathan, editor, The New Paper.
PHOTO: The New Paper

SINGAPORE - Shooter Wong Han Xuan of National Junior College (NJC) and sprinter Diane Hilary Pragasam of the Singapore Sports School (SSS) have bagged the boys' and girls' accolades at The New Paper School Sports Star Award 2015.

Han Xuan, 18, finished third in the junior category of the 38th Southeast Asia Shooting Championships last December. He was the president of the school's shooting club before stepping down in June to prepare for the A levels.

Diane, 14, was the most bemedalled athlete at this year's National Inter School Track and Field Championships with four golds.

The duo were picked by a judging panel after a six-month search, which culminated in an awards ceremony at the SSS today. A public voting exercise was also taken into consideration.

They were presented a trophy, a certificate and a cheque for $3,000 by guest of honour Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

Eight other finalists nominated in the top 10 received a trophy, a certificate and $500 each.

A total of 24 nominees were shortlisted for this year's School Sports Star Award.

The S Soocelaraj Award, which honours outstanding teacher-coaches, was also given out to Mr Joel Vinson of First Toa Payoh Primary School at today's awards ceremony.

The 29-year-old head of physical education received a certificate, a trophy and a cheque for $3,000.

Mr Seah Kiam Meng, 47, a physical education teacher and badminton coach at River Valley High School, finished first runner-up and received a certificate, a trophy and a cheque for $2,000.

The second runner-up was Mr Zareen Shariff, 41, the subject head of Malay language and football coach at Loyang Primary School. He received a certificate, a trophy and a cheque for $1,000.

Lim Han Ming, sports editor of The New Paper, said: "It is heartening to see all the nominees and winners displaying positive traits such as leadership, perseverance, discipline and sportsmanship. It is not only the achievements that we are looking for when choosing the winners, but the spirit of industry and endeavour that will put them in good stead for the rest of their sporting careers. We hope that, in recognising and rewarding these student-athletes and teacher-coaches, others will be inspired to follow in their footsteps."

The New Paper School Sports Star Award was launched in 2011 to recognise the best student-athletes in the local school sports scene.

For more information, go to http://www.tnp.sg/tnpstar15.

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