SEA Games 2023: Singapore women’s floorball team all ready to make it 3 golds in a row
Despite a fairly new team with 10 debutants, the team is confident in their chances.
The 2023 SEA Games floorball competition is already underway, and the Singapore women’s floorball team are all ready to defend their gold medal.
The team, over the last couple of months, intensified their training schedule as they ramped up preparations. They trained as frequently as six times a week, including gym sessions.
Winners in 2015 and 2019 – the two times the sport has been included in the biennial regional Games – the women’s team are aiming to make it three in a row.
It sounds simple enough, especially for a team that has established itself as one of the best in the region. But it’s not so straightforward as 10 players, or half the team, are competing in the Games for the first time.
Among the 10 new players is 20-year-old Lim Jie Ying, a defender who plays for Owls Floorball Club in the domestic competitions.
Although this will be her maiden participation in the SEA Games, Jie Ying is no stranger to international competitions. Between 2019 and 2022, she represented Singapore in age group competitions.
Similarly, the majority of debutants have had experience participating in international competitions. Brushing off concerns of inexperience, Jie Ying says that the new faces are ready to fill in the shoes of the veterans who have retired.
“In the new batch… we are hoping to fit in and continue Singapore’s winning streak. The senior batch really paved the way for this sport in Singapore. All the resources we have, everything is provided for us now and we owe it all to them,” she shared.
“I want to do my best to make them proud.”
The rookies in the team will be guided by experienced heads such as 29-year-old defender Amanda Yeap, who will participate for the third time in the regional Games, and 29-year-old forward Michelle Lok.
When Youthopia visited the team at one of their training sessions in mid-April at Our Tampines Hub, the team looked like a tight-knit group.
There was certainly no awkwardness between the newbies and the old-timers, and this was attributed to the training trips the team had in Kuala Lumpur and Japan that allowed the team to bond.
Apart from that, the team were able to condition themselves for the SEA Games.
Amanda expects Thailand – runners’ up to Singapore in 2015 and 2019 – to pose the biggest threat to their hopes of retaining their title. Both times, Singapore emerged victorious narrowly.
As the team captain, Michelle is also shouldering the responsibility of ensuring that the team stays motivated and prepped.
“As the team captain, I’m gonna be taking care of my team if they face any problems. Even if it’s personal or issues with officials or coaches, and they are afraid to raise it, I’m gonna back them up,” said Michelle.
Michelle believes the team is ready for the challenges that come their way. Apart from the training sessions, the players in the team also competed in the local league for their clubs, which meant that the team played floorball virtually every day in the league up to the SEA Games.
“We’re currently working on tactics for defence and offence, it’d be like that until competition time to keep the intensity up,” she shares.
Additionally, the team is aware of what’s at stake. With the floorball world championships slated to be held on home soil in December, the players know that a good showing in the SEA Games will give them a good chance of keeping their place in the national squad.
Meanwhile, Amanda has got a personal agenda too. In the 2015 SEA Games final, she committed a “tactical mistake” that could have cost the team a victory. As one of the leaders among the young team now, she knows the team is counting upon her.
She also feels more prepared than ever this time around.
Yeap was unsatisfied with her performance at the 2015 SEA Games over what she called a ‘tactical mistake’. However, after a period of self reflection, she now feels more prepared than ever for the 2023 SEA Games.
“The most important part for me was accepting it and also letting it go. So once I did that and was able to take it in my stride, then I managed to do better instead of limiting myself to the mistakes that I made,” she shared.
While the team acknowledges that there is pressure for them to continue the winning streak, they remain steadfast and are taking it in their strides. The team is also looking “to one another for support and encouragement”.
Michelle shared: “The people that keep me going are whichever team I’m playing with, be it the national team or even in my club, they’re the ones supporting and motivating me. They are the people that I’ll be playing for.”
The Singapore women’s team will start their campaign on May 11, against the Philippines. They will then take on Indonesia on May 12, Malaysia on May 13, Thailand on May 14 and Cambodia on May 15.
The two teams with the best record after the round robin matches will then proceed to play in the gold medal match on May 16.
Live coverage of popular events – with a focus on Team Singapore – will be shown across three dedicated channels on meWatch.