IMPACT 0486: NATIONAL SHOOTER AIMS TO DO SG PROUD
Amanda Mak, 21, is a national shooter who has represented Singapore at multiple international competitions, including the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Shooting was a co-curricular activity (CCA) that she joined when she was 13, and she hasn’t been able to put down the gun ever since. Today she shares more about her journey in the sport!
Tell us more about what you do!
Other than being a national athlete, I also juggle between different roles. Currently, I am a Year 3 Sociology student in NTU, as well as an employee engagement intern at Systems, Applications, and Products. Amidst studying and working, I train about six times a week, with each training lasting for two to three hours. While my pet event is the 10-metre air pistol, I also train for the 25-metre sports pistol category.
What inspired you to do this?
My shooting journey began when I was in Secondary 1. A few years prior, I tagged along with my brother to his shooting CCA trials, where he failed to get selected. Upon seeing that, I decided to join the same secondary school as him and try out for shooting as well, just to prove that I could be better at it. What started as a childish rivalry then quickly evolved into a passion for the sport.
I started representing my school for shooting a few months later, and from then on I fell in love with the exhilarating feeling of competitions. In such situations of high stress and excitement, it was immensely satisfying to be able to stay calm, execute the techniques that I had practised countless times and hit “10s”. The more I continued shooting, the more I found fulfilment in applying what I learnt from training and put them to good use in competitions.
Being someone who doesn’t like to move much, I love that shooting is more of a mental sport and that your greatest opponent is yourself. You really need to have the mental discipline to stay focused and consistent in investing the right amount of effort for every shot.
Have you faced any challenges so far? And how did you overcome them?
Being a national athlete is definitely not easy, especially in Singapore where sports often takes the backseat as compared to studies. One particularly trying year was 2018, where I was training for the Youth Olympic Games while preparing to take my A Levels.
Almost every evening after school, I would be training in the range, followed by a workout session in the gym before reaching home at 10pm to start on my homework. Soon, I became physically and mentally exhausted, to the point where I started to lag behind on my assignments and I could not stay awake in classes. I was also missing school frequently as I flew for overseas competitions. Just a month before YOG, I felt stretched to my breaking point.
Thankfully, the people around me gave me lots of help to get through it all. My dad would fetch me to school and training to minimise the travelling time, while my friends helped me take notes in class and patiently explain to me concepts that I could not grasp.
My teachers were also very understanding, and they would constantly check in on me and ask whether I needed extra guidance outside of classes. With the support and encouragement of those around me, I was able to pull through the gruelling schedule and keep my mind focused on both the Games and my A Levels.
If you could share one piece of advice with your fellow youth, what would it be?
Hard work does not necessarily guarantee success, but no success is possible without hard work. You just have to put in effort into achieving your goals, and trust that it will all work out.
What is your hope or plans for the future? What do you want to see or perhaps do?
As international competitions are slowly resuming, I hope to be able to qualify for them and set some good scores at these competitions. With the SEA Games coming up soon, my biggest goal right now would be to win a SEA Games medal and not only make Singapore proud, but my family and friends who have supported me throughout my sporting journey wholeheartedly.