Football keeps these girls busy
Student determined to do well in school so she can play football
She is motivated to study because her parents will allow her to play football only if she does well in school.
And football has certainly become an important part of her life.
Puteri Farah Hamisah Abdul Ghani spent yesterday making save after save as the goalkeeper of her team, West J United Girls 7.
The N-level student's goalmouth antics helped them win the first girls' tournament in the Delta League, which is jointly organised by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC).
They were crowned champions of the Under 16 Girls category yesterday after they won 6-2 in the grand final of the youth futsal competition.
Farah, 17, a Secondary 4 Crest Secondary School student, said: "Winning this makes me incredibly proud to represent my team."
(From left) Farah, Miss Leona Ng and Sitinormilah. Miss Leona Ng is the mentor of West J United Girls 7. TNP PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG
The tournament, which is a youth engagement initiative, runs twice a year, during the June and December school holidays.
Vice-chairman of NCPC, Mr Gerald Singham, 55, said: "We want to keep the youth in Singapore busy in a fun way and to build a healthy relationship between the police and youths."
These young people are mentored by volunteer police officers, who form friendships with them and give them life lessons, such as telling them about the consequences of common youth crimes.
West J United Girls 7 team mentor, Miss Leona Ng, 25, said: "Our job is to guide them and to prevent them from getting into trouble."
Farah even roped in one of her school mates to join the team.
Sitinormilah Kamaruzaman, 16, used to hang out until midnight at a fast food outlet.
Sitinormilah, who plays as a left winger, said: "I used to be very slack about my studies and I did not care.
"My parents used to be very worried since I came back very late."
Sitinormilah and her father, Mr Kamaruzaman. TNP PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG
The two friends have been playing football for about four years now.
Ever since Sitinormilah joined West J United Girls 7 - a football team with 20 girls who practise in Taman Jurong - she has been more disciplined and goes home right after football practice ends at 10pm.
They train every Saturday for four hours.
"My parents are very proud of me and want to support me," she said.
Her father, who wanted to be known only as Mr Kamaruzaman, was at the final yesterday to watch her play.
Playing football has created a strong social network for the girls.
Farah said: "It can be as simple as building a friendship, and playing here (at Delta League) helps me bond with my teammates."
WHAT IS THE DELTA LEAGUE?
The grand finals of Delta League took place yesterday at the OCBC Arena, Singapore Sports Hub.
Yesterday's finals concluded the 11th edition of the competition, which takes place every year during the June and December holidays.
This year's edition saw 2,000 players from 107 teams competing.
Started in 2011 , the futsal competition is jointly organised by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC). It aims to prevent crime through forging friendships with youth.
"While crime prevention is a very serious thing, we thought futsal is a good platform to start conversations with youths," said vice-chairman of NCPC, Mr Gerald Singham (above), 55.
Schools like Assumption Pathway School (APS) have been very supportive of Delta League.
The discipline master of APS, Mr Gerard Stewart, said: "It gives them (the students) something healthy to do during their school holidays.
"Instead of loitering at void decks or shopping malls, they train for the League, which also keeps them healthy."