Courtesy: Red SportsJeanne Chia of Chong Pang: “I get to meet a lot of people this way”
by Gan Yu NengJuly 02, 2012
Choa Chu Kang Sports Hall, Sunday, June 24, 2012 — For the plucky girls of Chong Pang CSC, the Community Games Women’s Futsal tournament turned into a Chong Pang versus Chong Pang final.
Chong Pang Team A and Chong Pang Team B ended up in the Nee Soon Cluster final and after a goalless draw and penalty shoot-out, Team A was crowned the winner.
This tournament is Chong Pang CSC’s first real competition after only two training sessions. Zawahir binti Mohd Yazid, the Chong Pang Team B #10, explained: “So far, Chong Pang had no ladies’ team. Now, let’s start this, see if we can one day go for 11-a-side. It’s all for the fun of it.”
Asked about how she feels introducing newcomers to football, Zawahir, who is the Sports Secretary for Chong Pang CSC, replied: “It’s a bit of a mixture; it’s something new for them to really enjoy, as a sports game.”
“It’s also a mixture of ethnic groups. In the team we have Chinese, Malay, we even have a player, our #9 (Julia Kamis), she’s not Malay, she’s not Chinese, ethnically she’s under ‘others’.”
The members of both teams certainly appeared to have enjoyed the novel experience of playing an unfamiliar sport. Team B #5, Jeanne Chia, said in Chinese: “Really not used to kicking a ball. I’m more familiar with sports like netball, captain’s ball, handball … Try something new, lah.”
Chong Pang CSC’s football coach, Poh Cheng Tong, used to play football daily all the way from when he was in Secondary Two up until the age of 26. Today, he manages a sporting goods store.
“There just isn’t enough time to do everything,” he said, “So sports usually takes a back seat.”
Jeanne has a slightly different take on things. Asked if she will continue playing soccer, she looked to her teammates and laughed heartily, then suddenly turned serious.
“Actually in the end, it’s really up to how you manage your time,” she replied, “You’re not born to be a graduate, you’re not born to be an athlete. Where you go, you choose. That is what I feel.”
Aside from the opportunity to try a new sport, being part of the Community Games has given the players a chance to get to meet new friends in their own neighbourhood.
“Actually,” said Jeanne, once again in Chinese, “I get to meet a lot of people this way. If you fight alongside someone you really get to know them properly.”
“I may not have known you,” added Estina Li, who was the #10 for Chong Pang Team A, referring to Jeanne. “But at least I knew you were from Chong Pang!”
Even as they pack and prepare to leave the venue, the new teammates were cheerfully laughing about how they had met each other through playing together at the club. Summer Lim, the Chong Pang Team A #5, tested her memory for matching names to faces, but Jeanne responded cheekily to her: “My name is Autumn, but you can call me Pretty.”
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari