National Footballer R Aaravin on Lessons Learnt from NS

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I started playing football during my primary school years and progressed slowly into various national football groups. In 2015 and 2016, I played for Home United and was part of the Prime League team in 2015. After that, I made my debut in the S League.

However, I was injured in 2016, and so was out of action for a long time, and eventually had to enlist into NS. This year, I joined the Garena Young Lions but picked up another injury for which I had to undergo surgery.

Currently, I am serving as a Community Engagement Officer with the SPF. I’m directly involved in engaging with the public, which allows me to meet and interact with people from all walks of life, which I enjoy the most.

Interestingly, NS and football have many similarities – both require high levels of discipline, hard work and commitment.

Also, having been in team sports all my life, I went into NS knowing the importance of teamwork, be it in the office, in training or even in a family. Everyone has to do his or her part to achieve greater heights.

Getting used to the working environment was initially hard. Completing work in a strict and compliant manner was something I had to learn, but with the support of fellow teammates, I would say I am coping well.

NS is a very significant time for every Singaporean man. It not only teaches combat skills and how to perform as a strong unit, it teaches you various values and life skills that will come in handy in the future. It also trains us to be more independent, and about the importance of safeguarding our nation.

On a personal note, I would say that NS has helped to make me more of an all-rounder, and will help me reach greater heights, both in my football career and as a person.


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