What are your struggles when playing table tennis?
What are the factors to your success in table tennis?
How has Covid-19 affected your table tennis training schedule?
These were some of the questions our Blangahnites had for Mr Clarence Chew, Singapore’s first local-born male to qualify for the Olympics. Bright and early on the morning of 25 May 2021, our Blangahnites signed on to Zoom for an e-assembly talk, excited to meet Singapore’s very own table tennis legend-in-the-making.
In partnership with Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), the talk was originally planned as part of our school’s in-person assembly programme. However, with the announcement of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures, we quickly adapted this talk to an e-assembly format to complement our Full Home-Based Learning (FHBL) Student Development curriculum. This exemplifies our commitment to continuous learning and student development during FHBL.
Our parents were also invited to attend this e-assembly talk with their children to learn more about Clarence’s sporting journey. Clarence shared about the dreams he had of being a professional table tennis player since he was five years-old, and the sacrifices he had to make along the way. Callis, a Primary 4 student, shared, "Mr, Chew is a proactive person and some day I want to make Singapore proud by entering in a dance competition! I learnt that sometimes you have to take the hard way instead of the easy way."
Clarence also shared his personal disappointment when losing to his team-mate Mr Koen Pang at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. He later channeled that disappointment into success when he defeated Mr Koen Pang at the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament 2021, thus earning the privilege to represent Singapore at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. From his sharing, our students learnt that undergirding the endless hours of training is Clarence’s indomitable spirit of excellence. Choo Zhi Lin, a Primary 5 student, reflected, “I learnt that self-belief and hard work will always lead us to success.”
At the end of the session, Clarence had the following words of wisdom for the young ones in attendance: “Always have a little faith and belief. When you are facing defeat and tough times, always believe in yourself. Only with that belief can you work harder and turn defeat into success.”
Our students left the session inspired to persevere in the face of challenges and to overcome difficulties in pursuit of their dreams. Amelia, a Primary 4 student, shared “The talk was really motivating, and it was really fun to watch all the different videos about the Olympics!” Following the session, students will pen postcards to convey their heartfelt support to the local athletes bearing the Singapore Flag at the Tokyo Olympics.
BRPS wishes Clarence all the very best at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, flying our Singapore flag high!