SEA Games 2015 Blog

Life at Deloitte

SEA Games 2015 Blog

Finding the extraordinary

This blog tells the stories of our people who are on the SEA Games 2015 journey. From the management team, to organizing committee, volunteers, and our athletes, each one of them will walk a different path but ultimately it will converge towards a common goal – one of pride and glory, with dreams in hand.

15 May 2015

Charmaine’s Story
Charmaine Soh
Associate, Regulatory & Compliance, Global Financial Services Industry and Team Singapore netball player

The start of my netball career was a little unexpected. When I was younger, my greatest fear was to play sports: I didn’t want to play any kind of sport that involved me having to perspire. I disliked playing under the sweltering sun and getting all hot and sweaty – I preferred to stay at home to read a book or practice playing the piano.

Things started to change when I entered secondary school when I decided that I wanted to take up a new hobby. Volleyball was trendy then, so I headed down to the court and joined a game of captain’s ball, which I thought was a mini-selection exercise conducted by the volleyball coaches. Since I had not been exercising regularly, playing a 5-minute game was a challenge for me! Nonetheless, I got through it and to my surprise, I was selected into the squad! But the bigger shock came when I realised that I had actually joined the wrong selections – without knowing it, I had been trying out for netball instead of volleyball!

Serendipitously, that was how my netball journey began and I have now wound up being a goal shooter with the Team Singapore netball team.

There were many obstacles. In fact, on the very first day of my netball training, I somehow managed to fracture my wrist. That could easily have been an excuse for me to give up the sport then - and I almost did. Fortunately, I had good friends who thought otherwise and they encouraged me to press on. I did, and soon fell in love with netball. I worked really hard to get on the school team and eventually captained them to the finals of the secondary school zonal competition.

At 15, I was scouted for the national youth team, but that would mean an additional three days of training a week. That was quite a hefty commitment for someone who was preparing for O-levels the next year. I recognised that it was near impossible for me to juggle my studies and school netball trainings with the extra national team ones. Although I really loved the sport, doing well in my studies was my top priority then, so with a heavy heart, I decided to forego what seemed like a chance of a lifetime to me. Thankfully, my O-level results were eventually testament to the fact that I made the right decision.

But as they say, all good things come to those who wait and another opportunity came knocking three years later. This time, I did not hesitate to say yes and I went on to represent Singapore in numerous international competitions as part of the youth netball team. In 2011, I became part of the Team Singapore netball opens (senior) team and made my debut in the World Netball Championship held in Singapore that year against Jamaica.

To quote American football coach and former professional player Mike Singletary: “Do you know what my favourite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”

Playing netball has nurtured me into the person I am today. Unlike other sports, netball is not an individualistic game. Each and every player on the team is dependent on each other to score a goal and to win the game. Netball requires a lot of discipline, resilience and above all, communication and trust among teammates. I would definitely encourage everyone, young and old, to try out this sport as the lessons learnt from it are applicable to all aspects of life.

When Singapore last hosted the SEA Games in 1993, I was three years old; never did I imagine that 22 years later, I would be part of the SEA Games contingent. The 28th SEA Games is now mere weeks away and the team has been working doubly hard with the goal of winning a gold medal for Singapore. With the increase in volume and intensity of trainings, it has been more physically draining and mentally straining of late for myself. However, I am extremely grateful to be blessed with supportive and understanding colleagues and supervisors from our Regulatory and Compliance team in GFSI, which allows me to balance focusing on my job with giving my all for Singapore.

It is definitely a dream come true for me to be able to represent Singapore in the Games in its Golden Jubilee year in such a prestigious event on home ground, as well as to represent Deloitte. As I hear the encouragement of family, friends, colleagues and fellow Singaporeans, I am truly humbled by the opportunity given and will put in my very best to do myself, my supporters, my colleagues and the nation proud.


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