Sporting success: Flying the flag for Singapore, the Home Team

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Noah Lim (pictured on the right) won SEA Games gold in 2019, 2021, and 2023; he narrowly missed the jiu-jitsu bronze in the 2023 Asian Games.
Noah Lim (pictured on the right) won SEA Games gold in 2019, 2021, and 2023; he narrowly missed the jiu-jitsu bronze in the 2023 Asian Games.

Sporting success: Home Team NSFs Noah Lim, Nufail Rayan and Ethan Poh share the secrets behind their athletic achievements.

TEXT AND PHOTOS: NOAH LIM AND SPF

SCDF and SPF servicemen did the country proud at the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia. On top of their NS commitments and duties, they trained vigorously and won medals in their respective events.

We caught up with CPL Noah Lim, SC/Cpl Nufail Raiyan Bin Abu Bakar and SC/Sgt Ethan Poh to find out how they maintained their peak performance for the games, while serving their NS commitments.

CPL (NSF) NOAH LIM

Emergency Medical Technician, Alexandra Fire Station

How does it feel to win the gold medal in the SEA Games gold thrice (in 2019, 2021, and 2023)?

I feel proud to do my part for Singapore. I know that this is just the beginning and there is so much more I want to achieve for my country. Representing Singapore in the sport I love is such a huge honour. I also want to be a role model to show others what is possible, with some discipline and hard work.

How did you balance your training and NS commitments?

Juggling shift duties and jiu-jitsu training can be challenging at times. I I did my best to manage my time carefully, maximising my training time on my off days.

We heard that you dislocated your little finger just before the 2023 SEA Games. What kept you going during the competition?

Life is unpredictable and some things are really beyond our control. The accident was beyond my control, but I focused on doing my best in what I could control.

My favourite analogy: walking a plank 10cm off the ground requires the same set of actions as walking a plank across two buildings. The pressure may feel greater in your mind, but the actions are the same.  Focus on your training and preparation as usual, and there is no reason why you cannot achieve more.

What have you learned from competing in jiu-jitsu at an international level?

I’ve learnt how to strategise and plan ahead. I have also adopted a growth mindset, which encourages me to learn new techniques, while focusing on what is important.

SC/CPL NUFAIL RAIYAN BIN ABU BAKAR

Protective Security Command (ProCom); Silver, Men’s Field Hockey

How has your experience as a ProCom officer influenced your performance or mindset during competitions?

It’s given me a greater sense of discipline, determination and focus. Another value that applies both to NS and sports training is resilience – to always give my best in everything I do, and to never stop trying. I believe that all the hard work I’ve put in will pay off at the end of the day, be it for myself, my team, my fellow officers or members of the public.

How did you balance your responsibilities as a ProCom officer with your SEA Games training schedule?

It was a challenge to maintain a balance between my work and training, not to mention family time. Managing my responsibilities as an officer while dedicating time for training requires good time management skills. Fortunately, my supervisors, coaches and family were always understanding and supportive of my decisions.

I learnt the importance of prioritising my duties and responsibilities while seeking balance in my pursuits outside of work. I also learnt the value of taking care of my physical and emotional well-being.

To my family, friends, fellow officers and teammates, thank you so much for your continuous support. I couldn’t have done it without your words of encouragement.

SC/SGT ETHAN POH

Public Transport Security Command (TransCom); Gold, Men’s Table Tennis (Team); Bronze, Men’s Table Tennis (Double)

How do you feel about winning two medals this year?

I’m definitely happy. It’s a privilege and an honour to win medals for Singapore at major sporting events. The Team Gold Medal means a lot to us as the last time Singapore won, it was in 2015. I’m glad to be part of the winning team this year.

How do you juggle your NS responsibilities and your sporting career?

I’m a staff officer at TransCom and it takes good time management skills to fulfil both my duties and train for competitions. I train after work every evening. It’s essential to have supportive colleagues, especially during the competition period. They covered my duties and even followed my matches closely, cheering me on. My achievements wouldn’t be possible without them!

How has your NS experience helped your development as an athlete?

During my Police Officers’ Basic Course at the Home Team Academy (HTA), I was able to take a break from the sport. The SPF values I learned during my course helped me make a positive change in how I approached training and competition.

I’ll be completing my NS this year and it’s been a really fulfilling two years, from my time at the HTA to TransCom. I’m thankful for the many lessons I’ve learnt throughout the policing journey.

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