Singapore netball shooting star almost gave up the sport
It has been a strange week.
She admits the sudden thrust into the limelight has proved to be an odd experience as strangers have recognised her on the street.
But with an infectiously friendly personality that shone during the fashion shoot, Soh appears to be taking it all in her stride.
The reason for the fame is that Soh is the new face of Singapore netball - though she is quick to emphasise just how much is down to teamwork.
Last Sunday, cheers from the 3,000-strong crowd helped fuel the fire of success for the Singapore netball team.
"Previously, hardly anyone turned up to watch us. At best, there would be a few hundred," says the 24-year-old goal shooter.
The team won the Mission Foods Asian Netball Championship, beating long-time rival Sri Lanka 59-41 and qualifying for next year's Netball World Cup. Soh tells The New Paper on Sunday: "It was intense. It was exhilarating. So many people - girls and boys of primary school-going age, even uncles and aunties. Their support and cheers drove us to excel."
At 1.77m, Soh's role of sharp shooter makes sense. But she did not start out as "one of the tall girls in class".
"I was actually quite short in primary school. My friends towered over me. Some even called me shortie," the St Hilda's Primary School alumna recalls.
"It was after I took up netball as my co-curricular activity in Secondary 1 that I started growing. We were made to jump a lot and I also drank a lot of milk," she adds.
Soh's ability soon saw her join the national team and she made her international debut at the 13th World Netball Championship in 2011.
But we could have been denied a new sports star as she once considered giving up netball.
"It was a year or two ago. I had reached a depressing stage in my career. Then Ruth came and made me want to learn netball all over again."
Ruth is national coach Ruth Aitken, a New Zealander whom Soh calls "the best coach in the world".
"She inspires and motivates me to work harder, and to live out of my comfort zone," enthuses Soh.
As a teenager, Soh often joined the neighbourhood kids to play basketball, but eventually the games with the boys became too rough.
"The reason I love netball is you need to work as a team, unlike basketball, where you can still shoot hoops by yourself."
She adds: "There are no secrets among the netballers. We are like sisters."
Naturally, her family was there at the Sports Hub's OCBC Arena last Sunday, cheering her and her teammates on.
Soh is the middle child of a businessman, 54, and a logistic clerk, 53. She has an older brother, 28, who works as a property agent, and a younger sister, 20, a nurse.
But as is reality for many sportsmen and women, there has to be a day job to pay the bills.
The Monday after victory, Soh returned to being a regulatory advisory associate with Deloitte, an international financial services firm.
Court side, Soh and her teammates are gearing for the Netball National Cup in December - a six-day competition that will see them take on Botswana, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Republic of Ireland and Samoa.
For more of Charmaine's fashion shoot plus behind the scenes go to tnp.sg
With her slender figure, outgoing personality - and of course, great skills - we felt Soh has the makings of a true sports superstar.
So why not have the star treatment with a fashion shoot?
We roped in H&M to let Soh try out some of the brand's upcoming autumn/winter collection.
Black long-sleeved dress with bejewelled collar
Black strappy knotted heels
Off-white bustier top flared overall
V-line black blazer
Clothes courtesy of H&M
TNP PICTURES: ARIFFIN JAMAR
HAIR & MAKE-UP: WATTI HARY