SO YOU want to throw the javelin, but your school does not have track and field as a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA).
What do you do?
Well, you draw your own programme, borrow another school’s field and expertise and go on to win the Schools’ National gold medal.
Yes, that is exactly what 14-year-old Lynn Teoh of CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent did.
She travels to Victoria Junior College from Sengkang, where she studies and lives, for her javelin training.
Even though Lynn, 14, picked up the javelin only two years ago and gets to train only two to three times a week, she beat more experienced throwers to win gold at this year’s Schools National Track and Field Championships.
And, as if it is not hard enough for young athletes to juggle sports and studies, Lynn has to balance schoolwork with not just one but two CCAs – netball and javelin.
Lynn’s CCA teacher-in-charge, Cheak Seok Kuan, said: “For somebody like Lynn who doesn’t train regularly to end up winning shows a lot of talent in her.”
On her success, Lynn said: “It’s my biggest win ever, and I feel a great sense of achievement.”
According to Lynn’s sister, Evelyn, she got to train properly with a javelin not more than 10 times this year.
Evelyn, who is a teacher, said: “I think it’s a miracle that she managed to win, but she has really deserved it as she has worked very hard on her own.”
As athletics is not available as a CCA in CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent, where Lynn studies, she has to travel to Victoria Junior College for her javelin training.
So where does Lynn get her motivation from?
“My sister is my source of inspiration and a big influence on me,” she said. “When she was in secondary school, she also juggled her studies with her two CCAs (which were also netball and javelin).”
Best of both worlds
But even though it was Evelyn who got her interested in the two sports, it is her own passion that is fuelling her love for them.
She said: “I love both netball and javelin equally and I want to do well in both of them.”
On top of her javelin training, Lynn also trains thrice a week in school with the netball team.
She even has training for both sports on the same day during school holidays.
“Despite Lynn’s strenuous netball training, she still finds time to take part in javelin competitions and trains on weekends,” said Cheak.
Cheak added that Lynn often has to sacrifice the time she spends hanging out with friends.
She also shared with TNP the instances when Lynn displayed diligence and enthusiasm for her sports.
“She has very high expectations of herself and is responsible for her own learning,” Cheak said. “She’s always the first to ask for footage of our netball matches and will go on YouTube to search for javelin tips.”
Lynn said: “I don’t have time for any other hobbies, and I don’t really get to go out with my friends, so YouTube has become one of the best places for me to de-stress.”
She enjoys playing with her seven-year-old Japanese spitz, Wolfy.
Unsurprisingly, her tough training schedule takes a toll on her.
She said: “Usually after training, and when I reach home at about 7pm, I have to take a short nap before I start studying.”
From Lynn’s timetable, it can be seen that she is a very disciplined girl.
Every day, she will do her revision until 10pm, then she will go to bed.
Off the netball court and the field, Lynn is an equally energetic and diligent girl.
Her form teacher Jow Pei Jun said: “Lynn is always very cheerful and her good mood rubs off her classmates.
“Though she often misses lessons due to her competitions, her grades are generally good, and she never fails to put in her best in everything she does.”
And on her strengths, Evelyn said: “Lynn shows discipline and focus in the things she does, whether it’s netball, javelin, or her studies.”
Lynn’s dream is to represent Singapore at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
And if she carries on her current form and continues with her rate of improvement, she might just be able to march out with the other young athletes at Nanjing 2014.