How do we define a national athlete? When I describe myself as a national athlete, it resounds naturally within me as I have been representing Singapore in Athletics since I was 12 years old, it became a “natural identity” for myself and from others. However, what does it really mean to be a national athlete? As a sprinter, does clocking a few good times correlate or qualify as one? Or does a series of consecutive wins and out winning others contribute to my entitlement as a National athlete. What about winning medals? I will explore areas into what constitutes as national athlete in my opinionA national athlete is…. Well i like to break down words/a phrase into a smaller bite sized understanding. ‘National’ according to ‘The Free Dictionary’ adjective: national1. relating to or characteristic of a nation; common to a whole nation. “this policy may have been in the national interest” synonyms:state, public, federal, governmental; More
noun: athlete; plural noun: athletes
- a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.
“he had the broad-shouldered build of a natural athlete”
synonyms:sportswoman, sportsman, sportsperson;
However, what is missing in most literal definitions is the understanding of the “HEART” of a national athlete. More than just the tangible aspects, a national athlete representing your country is someone that shares in the values, the bonds, the experiences that was groomed over time to fashion a sense of national solidarity; an identity that is unique to that individual and the country he/she is representing.
For me, being a national athlete is about living out the values of the country, showcasing your country to the world with pride and with the understanding that you are the forefront ambassador. Singapore had an amazing streak at the 28th SEA GAMES & 8th ASEAN Para Games in Singapore last year, the whole nation was supporting the games with one vision, one heart as #oneteamsg #teamsingapore. Till today, the memories still last the stories will continue to the next generations on how the whole nation was behind the athletes and games.
I just concluded the 18th ASEAN University Games, Singapore 2016. It will be the final AUG that I will be representing Singapore as I have just officially graduated. This game was extremely special for me as it was my last competition for 2016, I went there with a goal, to get on the podium, cherish friendships and to establish new ones. The spirit of the games is:
To promote ASEAN Solidarity in our youth through school sports;
To provide opportunities for school athletes to benchmark their sporting talents in the ASEAN region; and
To provide opportunities for school athletes to interact and engage in cultural exchange within ASEAN.
(Le Trong Hinh – Vietnam / Jirapong Meenapra – Thailand / Calvin Kang – Singapore)
I believe that the 3 of us share a common goal on the track, to be as fast as we can, they are national representatives of Vietnam and Thailand. I learned so much more about their country through their perspective lenses. I understand their culture through their experiences and gain invaluable moments through them.
In conclusion, a national athlete is more than clothing yourself with the jersey. It is about the HEART, the passion, the pursuit to develop peace, love, joy, a personal attachment, a deep conviction and affection. (there are so many other descriptions of a national athlete) I have been blessed through sport and I hope to continue to bring Singapore around the world with me as an ambassador for the nation in my own way.
Blessed week ahead everyone,