Sanson Seah at a taekwondo training session in school.

13 September 2017

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Sports does not just help youths to develop resilience and personal strengths. It also helps them to build friendships and essential skills such as moral character, teamwork and time management. Sanson Seah, a Secondary 3 student from Springfield Secondary School, shares his experience.

I got interested in taekwondo when I was five years old. Back then, I saw a demonstration on TV where exponents broke wooden boards with their bare hands or feet. I thought it was cool and I wanted to try it out, so I took up taekwondo as a co-curricular activity in Secondary One.

What does your training schedule look like?

It’s been three years since I took up taekwondo. When there are upcoming competitions, I would train three to four days a week, but typically I train about two days per week. When I prepare for competitions, I would attend extra sessions too, at a training centre outside of school.

Each training session is about two and a half hours, where we work on exercises to hone our moves and also on poomsae, a taekwondo pattern. For some sessions, we would also practice sparring.

You seem to dedicate a lot of time to training!

Yes! Training is essential, and I think that no matter how hard it is, I have to endure it so that I can be really good at what I do. For constant performance, practice is important.

How do you juggle training and studies?

In my first year, it was really difficult to juggle my commitments, but things are better now. I learnt what time management and discipline is. I study after my training, which means have to sleep a little later. To make up for that, I give up some recreational activities and I spend less time with my friends now.

Taekwondo has taught me to be watchful of my health too. I used to skip breakfast and also not eat during recess time. I realised a balanced and healthy diet is a must.

Despite these challenges, what keeps you going?

My friends. Even though taekwondo training is tough, we encourage and support each other. We keep the team camaraderie going, we laugh and work hard together. It has been a great experience!