Interview with Jason Chee 100 percent Passionate 100 percent Positive
TSL speaks to TS Paddler, Jason Chee on his thoughts and aspirations for the ASEAN Para Games.
TSL: Tell us about yourself and your love for sports.
JC: I’m a part-time athlete and also a part-time student in UNISIM pursuing a bachelor degree in Science for Mathematics. A big part of my time is also spent on rehabilitation walking training at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. I also juggle work during the day and train at night – and usually by the end of the day I am very tired. Before I was injured, I loved to play sports and was a sporty guy. Now I still love to play sports! I enjoy Football, Cycling, Baseball, Swimming, and of course Table– the list goes on. My favourite Football team, since the age of 13, has been Arsenal because I believe they are a team of great players with fighting spirit and I admire the way that they play. My favourite player is Marc Overmars who has great skill and technique. I never miss an Arsenal game on TV and will watch the replays.
TSL: Who has been your inspiration in Singapore?
I have always found other para-athletes such as Theresa Goh, Yip Pin Xiu, Jovin Tan etc to be great inspirations. I respect them very much and I was inspired by their own personal stories inovercoming their challenges. I am amazed at their spirit. I want to apply the same spirit to my sport and I hope to pass those same values to other para-athletes.
Joseph Schooling and Theresa Goh
TSL: Tell us about your training for the APG.
I am training 5 times a week, from Tuesday to Friday, 7-10pm and Saturday, from 3-6pm. Recently the APG Table Tennis team has moved its training venue from the Yishun Sports Hall to the SSI Biomechanics facility; and because of the atmosphere (athletes training, design and air conditioning) it has given me a real sense of confidence. For a training session, my coach (Mr Chia Chong Boon) typically breaks down our practice into serving, returning and training forehand and backhand. Besides Table Tennis, I also watch my diet, restricting myself to 1,200 calories per day and try to eat more fruit and vegetables and less oily and fried food.
TSL: Many of the Team Singapore athletes competing at the APG are debutantes. What advice would you give them as a more experienced member?
For me, I feel playing at home does not mean extra pressure. Instead, I am excited and happy to play in front of a home crowd – I am confident that they will be cheering for me to play better and it will boost my morale. In fact, ever since I have had the blessing to represent Singapore at the Para games in Myanmar, the community has been very supportive with wishes and messages of support from people in person and via social media. For the debutantes, I would advise them to take a deep breath, not to be scared of their opponent and focus on their own performance. If they give 100%, show a fighting spirit and be a good and humble sportsmen, they will be fine!
TSL: What are your personal aspirations for the APG 15 and what are your hopes for the legacy that it will leave for Singapore?
My personal aim is to get at least a silver medal if not a gold. This is building on the bronze medal I won in Myanmar. For the wider legacy, I am hoping Singaporeans can learn more about Para Sports, but more importantly develop and have more awareness about people with disabilities. The biggest takeaway is that Singaporeans must know how helpful sports has been to people with disabilities in helping them overcome their own challenges. Especially it being SG50, the timing of the APG in December will be a great cap to what has been a year of great milestones.
ASEAN Para Games Team Singapore Table Tennis