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Ms Catherine Boey Xiao Wei, 23, mentored by past winners
WINNER: Ms Catherine Boey was helped to her successes by Ms Shuner Villanueva Leong and Ms Chua Ka Wen. PHOTO COURTESY OF MS CATHERINE BOEY
A third WorldSkills Competition (WSC) award winner is set to return to the ITE College East as a lecturer.
Ms Catherine Boey Xiao Wei, 23, won a gold medal at the WSC Leipzig 2013 in Germany, and the WorldSkills Singapore Competition 2012. She also won a Medallion of Excellence in the Asean Skills Competition in 2012.
She was mentored to her successes by two other WSC winners, Ms Chua Ka Wen, 28, and Ms Shuner Villanueva Leong, 26, who are both now lecturers at ITE College East.
Ms Boey did a Nitec in Beauty Therapy in 2010, and a Higher Nitec in Beauty and Spa Management from 2011 to 2013.
She is now on an ITE teaching scholarship, studying for a Foundation Degree Sciences in Beauty and Spa Management at the University of the Arts London.
She said of her mentors: "Both Ka Wen and Shuner were very supportive and helpful with imparting their skills and what they have learnt to me.
"All three of us have bonded over going through the same tough training and just like them, I will be an ITE student-turned-lecturer in the future.
"This brought us closer together and I look forward to us becoming good friends and colleagues."
WorldSkills Competition winners return to ITE as teachers
WorldSkills Competition winners return to ITE as teachers
ITE College East looks set to produce more world-class students.
Two multiple-award winners at the WorldSkills Competitions (WSC) - both former ITE students in beauty therapy - have returned as lecturers, with one more planning to join them soon.
Ms Chua Ka Wen, 28, and Ms Shuner Villanueva Leong, 26,each won two gold medals in multiple WSCs between 2009 and 2011.
WSC has been likened to being the "Youth Olympics of Work Skills".
Ms Chua and Ms Leong graduated with a Nitec in Beauty Therapy in 2008. They then furthered their studies under the ITE Teaching Scholarship scheme.
Ms Chua received a Foundation Degree Sciencesin Beauty and Spa Management from the University of the Arts London, while Ms Leong got a Diploma of Beauty Therapy from the Box Hill Institute in Melbourne.
Ms Leong, who became a lecturer in 2014, said changing mindsets and attitudes makes teaching fulfilling.
She recounted turning around one student: "I persuaded her by reminding her that she has the potential to be groomed.
"I didn't give up on her, and it paid off when she decided to take more responsibility for her future."
Reflecting on her first day back at her alma mater as a teacher in 2012, Ms Chua said:"I felt out of place when I first stepped into ITE College East as a lecturer."
But she adapted by "observing seniors and their teaching styles".
Ms Chua said her niche is in "coaching the showmanship aspect".
"Showmanship is about how we present ourselves - for example, our body posture, rhythm, and movement when we are performing massage treatment," she said.
"In training, learn to relax during the weekends, or else you will be too drained during the weekdays to focus. Also, always be on the lookout for the unexpected," she advised.
Although the two women had big wins in the WSC, it was a tough journey.
Ms Chua recounted: "I broke down and cried during the practice in the lead-up to the competition."
Ms Leong said: "We had to train for an average of eight to 10 hours every weekday, and still had to set aside time to complete our homework.
"We didn't have time to even eat properly. Lunch breaks were less than an hour."
However, their hard work and sacrifices paid off.
Ms Leong said: "This competition has changed my life by opening many doors.
"Winning the WorldSkills Competition was a contributing factor to the decision by ITE College East to award me a Teaching Scholarship."
Mr Bruce Poh, director and chief executive officer of ITE, said he is glad the winners have joined ITE as lecturers "to develop the next generation of beauty therapists".
"Their experiences as competitors in past WorldSkills Competitions will be invaluable in providing insights on the physical and mental preparation, skills and adaptability needed to succeed on the international stage," he said.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
The WorldSkills Competition (WSC) has come into the international spotlight for being the "Youth Olympics of Skills".
The biennial competition, which was first held in 1950, is organised by WorldSkills International.
It sees hundreds of young people from around the world gather to compete by showcasing their skills in various crafts, and measure themselves against rigorous international standards.
A total of 1,189 competitors from 59 countries and regions competed in 50 skill areas last year.
Some of the skills categories includebeauty therapy, graphic design, health and social care, and mobile robotics.
Watch national football teams on Eleven
Lions do extra tactical work before training sessions
Sundram focuses on two divisions before training session proper
He kicked off training with the Lions on Saturday, and over the next two days, newly-appointed national coach V Sundramoorthy made the unusual call for two departments of his squad to come in an hour ahead of each scheduled session, which lasts between 90 minutes and two hours.
He started with the defenders on Sunday, and yesterday, Sundram worked early specifically with the midfielders and strikers at the Geylang Field.
After conducting tactical and positional drills, he explained why he required the extra work.
"We are actually preparing for the Suzuki Cup (in November)," Sundram told The New Paper.
"Because of the lack of time, we are getting the players to come in and do the extra tactical work so that they know what we want from them on the pitch.
"Players understand that we started this for the game that we have in Myanmar, As you know last Friday was the press conference and Saturday was my first session with them so we are really lacking time."
Sundram's first assignment with the Lions comes in a friendly international quadrangular in Myanmar from Friday to Monday.
The four teams in the mix are Vietnam, Hong Kong, the hosts and Singapore.
The Lions, who leave for Myanmar on Wednesday, will take on the hosts on Friday while Vietnam and Hong Kong meet in the other tie, with the two winners moving into the final while the other two teams play-off for third on Monday.
With busy club commitments, Sundram said he plans to do more such focused training sessions down the road.
It starts off with basic drills focusing on a player's positioning.
Last Sunday, the defenders also worked on drills that were targeted at their transition from defence to attack.
A day later, the forwards focused on set-pieces that required them to provide realistic options that they can incorporate into matches.
During their breaks, the players were all smiles as they played a friendly game of one-touch.
"For footballers, when they are on the pitch and the ball is moving and they are scoring goals, they are enjoying training and that's what's important," said Sundram, who was unveiled as the new coach last Friday - the first local to hold the post in 16 years.
"If you tell them to go MacRitchie Reservoir and run 10 kilometres, that's going to be a problem.
"With the national team we will try to do it more frequently. We have our Mondays and in-camp training sessions but we will do what is needed along the way."
Sundram's predecessor, Bernd Stange, made the call that each Monday will be allocated for a national team get-together.
Among the 12 who were in early yesterday were Tampines Rovers midfielders Yasir Hanapi and Izzdin Shafiq, Geylang International winger Gabriel Quak and Johor Darul Ta'zim (II) forward Shahril Ishak.
"He (Sundram) wants to achieve results and he knows what we're capable of," said Izzdin, 25.
"We have never done this before and it is beneficial for us as we are not able to purely focus on our specific roles in a day's training. For today, we just focused on positioning and providing options."
Club mate Hafiz Abu Sujad, a defender who came in early last Sunday, was game to put in an extra hour of work.
"It's better for the defenders and attackers to have specific training so that we can improve better," he said.
"Sundram wants to work on specific aspects of the game... It was a short session with mild intensity where we brushed up on certain things like how to attack when with the ball and how to defend when we lose it."