HCIS Gymnast, Shandy Poh

HCIS Gymnast to Represent Singapore at the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam

On 11 April 2022, Singapore Gymnastics (SG) announced that our student, Shandy Poh from Class IB 1P, is 1 out of the 15 gymnasts who have been selected to represent Singapore at the 31st SEA Games set to take place in Hanoi, Vietnam from 12 to 23 May 2022.

HCIS is thrilled to receive this piece of news and is definitely feeling super excited for Shandy! Mention “gymnastics” and immense skills such as balance, coordination, flexibility and agility would come to mind for most of us. However, it takes a lot more to “balance” the sport itself and academic responsibilities for Shandy.

Now, let’s hear from Shandy about her thoughts on representing Singapore and how she is able to juggle between her passion for gymnastics and her studies!

(1) How are you feeling, with this being your first SEA Games?

To be honest, it has not completely sunken in that I will be representing Singapore in Hanoi. I have always talked about going for the SEA Games as a long term dream, but I never expected that it would be a reality. However, I am really excited about the upcoming SEA Games because it is something my team and I have been working really hard for! I’m determined to have fun at the games while doing my best at the same time. 

(2) In which event categories will you be competing?

I will be competing in all four event categories (Women’s Vault, Women’s Uneven Bars, Women’s Balance Beam, Women’s Floor Exercise) as well as the team event.

Shandy, 4th from left, with Team Singapore's Women's Artistic Gymnastics at Hanoi 2021. The team won a Bronze medal for the nation. (© Sport Singapore, Photo Credit: Sport Singapore/ Lim Weixiang)

(3) Do you usually get really nervous before a competition? How do you tackle those nerves?

I am someone who is quite calm usually, so I do not get very nervous. However, when I do get a little jumpy, I will try not to overthink, and focus on my surroundings. This helps to keep me distracted.

(4) What strengths do you believe one should have to excel as a great athlete?

As my coaches always say, it is essential for one to have a positive mindset! A positive mindset is what keeps me going when training gets tough. An athlete should also have discipline. Without discipline, it is difficult to persevere through training and other challenges that shape one to be the best athlete one can be.

(5) Do you stick to any strict diet? Are snacks like ice-creams and chocolates a no-no?

Even though there is no actual diet imposed, I am quite conscious about what I consume on a daily basis. I do steer away from fattening and non-nutritious food, like chips and chocolate. For me, it is important to only consume what is necessary and what gives me enough energy to get through the day.

(6) How do you juggle between school and your athletic responsibilities?

After getting home from training at about 8 to 9 PM, I will go straight to shower and then start my school work. If I am too tired, I will go to sleep first and wake up at 3 AM instead. Since time is so precious, I always put distractions away so I can quickly complete my task at hand and get enough rest for the next day. However, sometimes when it gets too overwhelming for me, I just go to sleep.

(7) Have your teachers been supportive, especially during your training periods?

Yes, definitely. I have been struggling with Math recently, and my Math teacher (Mr Loy) always assures me that I can work on the problems after my competitions. This actually helps me feel a lot less anxious! My Chemistry teacher (Mr Soh) also always expresses his support for me, which I am very grateful for. Other teachers are also always open for consultation, so I can clarify my doubts with them.

(8) Last but not least, what do you enjoy most about school, and why?

I enjoy being with my friends the most! They are always there to make my day, and we do lots of funny things together. Even when school gets really taxing, my friends are there with me!