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B Division teams after completing NSG 2021

(2022 Nan Hua High School's B Div Boys' and Girls' Teams. Photo Credit : NHHS)

 

By Pearlyn Koh

 

For Nan Hua High School, Table Tennis is undoubtedly one of its best-performing CCAs. Having won a stunning haul of 33 titles collectively (mainly Silver and Bronze medals) from 2012 till date, the Nan Hua Table Tennis team has become a strong force that now consistently ranks top-4 in the West Zone, for both the Girls' and Boys' teams respectively.

But while results are important, 2 key attributes which have played a part in the team’s excellent track record in the sport over the years, have been Teamwork and Excellence. The Nanhuarians place strong emphasis on fostering a positive team culture, where coaches, teachers, student leaders and team members work closely together to help each individual achieve their goals. Student-athletes are also constantly encouraged to set their own benchmark and improve standards, to become a better person than who they were yesterday.

We caught up with Lee Jiajie, a Secondary 2 Table Tennis student-athlete, as well as Ms Sheena Ng and Mr Chan Meng Wai, both teachers-in-charge of the Table Tennis Club to find out more about Nan Hua’s preparations for the 2022 National School Games (NSG), through a zoom recorded call and email interview respectively.

(For all the news, post-match interview videos, stories, photos, fanzone details and much more from the 2022 National School Games, do visit our website : go.gov.sg/nationalschoolgames)

 
(Pre-Games Interview with Lee Jiajie, Nan Hua High School. Video Credit : Pearlyn Koh)

 

Email interview with Ms Sheena Ng & Mr Chan Meng Wai, Teachers-in-charge of Nan Hua High School’s Table Tennis Club

 

Q1: How long have you been the teacher-in-charge for Table Tennis at your school?

Ms Sheena Ng:

9 years. I have been one of the teachers-in-charge of Nan Hua Table Tennis Club since 2014. I took over from Mr Chan Meng Wai as the overall teacher-in-charge in 2019.

Mr Chan Meng Wai:
10 years.

 

Q2: Over the years that you have been teacher-in-charge, what has been the proudest moment for you?

Ms Sheena Ng:

The burning passion, dedication, and determination of every player in the club is has always been a true inspiration to me especially since I get the opportunity to witness the growth and development of every single player that comes through us. While training and competitions might not always be easy or challenge-free, watching the team overcome the challenges as they stand together as one united team and strive to give their best in everything that they do always makes me feel proud to be part of the team. The proudest moment I have would be when I watched a student bounce back from trailing 0-2 to winning the game, despite the fact that the opponent was a stronger player than her. The sheer determination displayed by her was a huge reminder to the team and me that everything is possible, so long as we believe in it and persevere on. The team support demonstrated during the game itself will be something I will never forget and the never-say-die attitude that the student demonstrated is a story I continue to share with our current players.

Mr Chan Meng Wai:

The proudest moments are never the moments of winning matches or getting trophies, but to see the students rising up to face challenges with perseverance and diligence. The proudest moment would have been to see the ‘B’ Division Boys almost beating the River Valley team in 2021, despite only managing to recruit 2 students from DSA to challenge a team consisting of DSA players recruited from the then National Primary School Champion.

 

Q3: How many NSG titles has Nan Hua claimed in Table Tennis?

Ms Sheena Ng:

Clinching 33 titles since 2012, Nan Hua Table Tennis Club has developed over the years into a team that consistently ranks top 4 in the West Zone.

Mr Chan Meng Wai:

Nan Hua claimed 33 NSG titles from 2012 till now, with the pandemic halting competitions fully or partially for 2020 and 2021.

 

Q4: How did your school fare at the last NSG in 2019?

Both:

In the West Zone Table Tennis Champions, our ‘B’ division boys clinched 2nd while our ‘B’ division girls and both ‘C’ division teams clinched 3rd.

 

Q5: How has your school managed to consistently perform well in Table Tennis over the years?

Ms Sheena Ng:

The team has developed into a team that believes in putting their best effort in everything that they do and to consistently strive for improvement. Our players are aware that the only person they should try to be, is to be a better person than who they were yesterday. Our players are encouraged to set consistent goals for themselves while also working closely with the team (coaches, teacher, student leaders and team-mates) to support one another.

Mr Chan Meng Wai:

There is a culture of excellence in the club where everyone is determined to put in their best during training sessions and competitions. There is also a motto that governs the club’s spirit and that is “The Strongest Opponents in Life is Yourself” and that each member is encouraged to set their own benchmark and improvement standards. This allows each member to meet their own targets set with pressure to perform beyond their fullest potential. The club places strong emphasis on discipline too and that full attendance and maximum effort are encouraged in each training session.

 

Q6: How often is your school’s Table Tennis training?

Both:

The team trains 3 times a week with each session lasting 3 hours

 

Q7: How do you think Table Tennis has shaped your students into better individuals?

Ms Sheena Ng:

Table Tennis has allowed my students to develop into individuals with Growth mindset and strong mental resilience, players who persevere on regardless of the challenges or circumstances they are in. The strong camaraderie the sport enabled our players to build over the years has allowed the team to understand that the strength of a team is each member, and the strength of each member is the team. With this mindset, the team understands that no one will be left to face any challenge alone, allowing the team to grow together as one to bring out the best in one another within and beyond the club.

Mr Chan Meng Wai:

Learning that effort alone is enough, especially when the final outcome each year does not commensurate the effort put into training. The emphasis of the club to put the team’s welfare at the forefront of every club decision also allows students to understand that the team is only as strong as the weakest link, and for every team to be successful, the team needs to care for every individual’s progress and development in the club.

(As of 12 April, Nan Hua High School's Boys' and Girls' teams are through to the West Zone Semi-Finals)

 

(For all the news, post-match interview videos, stories, photos, fanzone details and much more from the 2022 National School Games, do visit our website : go.gov.sg/nationalschoolgames)

 

Sport Singapore would like to Thank the school principal, students, teachers and parents from Nan Hua High School, for their kind assistance and responses towards this NSG preview. This article would not have been possible without their invaluable input and comments. And we wish Team CHIJ the Best of Luck, Success and Safety in their 2022 National School Games campaign :) 

 

Pearlyn Koh has been playing Table Tennis competitively for 9 years. She is a 4-time Champion at the National School Games, over a period of 6 years. And she's currently a member of the National Team and has represented Singapore at several major tournaments, including the 2018 Asian Games and World Table Tennis Championships. In 2019, Pearlyn was also the sole Southeast Asian player to enter the Top 16 at the Asian Junior & Cadet Table Tennis Championships. During her free time, Pearlyn enjoys reading and catching up with her friends. 

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