School sports: Woo's Midas touch

Victoria Junior College (VJC) overcame a loss in the first set to beat Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) 3-1 to win the National Schools Boys' A Division Volleyball Championship at the Yio Chu Kang Sports Hall yesterday.

VJC's win erased the memory of their loss in last year's final to Nanyang JC.

The victory was especially sweet for their coach, Woo Kok Onn, 58, who had led the boys' team to their first championship in 1991. Their opponents in the final 24 years ago was... HCI.

"I am very excited and happy," said a beaming Woo, who left in 2003 before returning to coach VJC last November.

"When they (VJC) approached me to be their coach, I set a target for them to become champions."

To achieve his target, Woo stressed the need for optimum fitness and it worked a treat in the end.

"The A Boys' division is very competitive," he explained.

"Without good fitness, it is very difficult to win."

The VJC boys underwent up to four training sessions per week before their victory.

At every session, they ran 2.4km to build up their stamina and also spent time in the gym.

The coach was quick to praise the talent in his squad.

"They are all the cream of the crop from their secondary schools," he said.

"As their coach in junior college, I am acting as a chef. They come to me as ingredients and I will see what I have before putting them together to make a good dish."

This article was first published on May 14, 2015.
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