Still passionate about sport

She played basketball through the tumultuous 1960s, as Singapore turned from a British colony to an independent nation.

But former national player Ong Ah Hoi (above) didn't think much about the political environment she was in.

All she cared about was to play the game.

"Back then, our lives were quite carefree and we were quite naive; we just wanted to play basketball, even if we had to pay our own bus fare and travel long distances to attend training and matches," said the 67-year-old, on the sidelines of a tribute dinner for pioneer athletes last night at the Singapore Sports Hub.

"Coming from a kampung in Loyang, we were also 'harder' than city folks, and would give our all for the game," said the 1969 South-east Asian Peninsular Games bronze-medallist, with a chuckle.

Ong is still active in sports these days, although she has taken up another sport - woodball.

She said: "It's just a way for me to keep active and fit. I play it three times a week."