Setbacks can’t hold netballers Jamie Lim and Angelina Lim back
Netballers Jamie and Angelina earn first senior call-ups after overcoming debacles
"Hopeless" and "devastating" were words that netballers Jamie Lim and Angelina Lim used to describe their situations earlier this year.
It was a dismal time for Jamie, 19, as she endured a 10-month lay-off due to a right-knee injury.
So, too, for Angelina, 20, who said her confidence took a hit after the "devastating" blow of being dropped from the Singapore Under-21 team.
But they did not give up.
Determined to keep alive their dream of representing the country, both players bounced back from their setbacks to force their way into the reckoning.
They did more than enough to impress national coach Natalie Milicich during a training tour of New Zealand last week and were given their first senior call-ups for next month's M1 Nations Cup at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Describing their maiden call-ups as a "shock", both debutantes are raring to justify Milicich's faith in them.
Jamie, who can play in both goal defence and as a goalkeeper, said: "I didn't expect myself to be in the team as I thought I wasn't there yet...
"But maybe coach saw the progress in me in New Zealand and I just feel very honoured to be able to participate in this Nations Cup, and I'll definitely do my best."
If you had asked the National University of Singapore (NUS) first-year statistics student earlier this year what were her chances of earning her first senior call-up, Jamie might not have been able to give you an answer.
While her teammates underwent training, all she could do was work on rehabilitation exercises to strengthen her knee.
She said: "I felt quite hopeless because I was just rehabbing all day. When coach Nat called me to join them for training, I could just stand by the side and maybe pass a few balls to the team, or sometimes just help them take videos.
"But seeing them train so hard, it made me rehab even harder because I wanted to go back on court.
DIDN'T GIVE UP
"I just kept rehabbing, kept myself mentally strong and didn't give up."
Similarly, Angelina did not throw in the towel when she was dropped from the national U-21s earlier this year.
Instead, she devoted her time with Netball Super League club Mission Mannas, where she played alongside national captain Charmaine Soh and former national skipper Vanessa Lee.
As she put it, the stint made her more aware of her weaknesses, which the wing attacker worked on and rectified.
Said the second-year social work student at NUS: "I discovered myself as a player again.
"After I was dropped, I was given the opportunity to play with the Mannas... It was actually a 'good' drop as it made myself open to feedback."
Expressing her confidence in the 12-strong squad, Milicich said she had been able to see how they handle pressure and react in different scenarios.
She said: "I'm excited to see how this good mix of experienced players and debutantes will gel as we strive to reach the final of this tournament."
What: M1 Nations Cup netball competition
When: Oct 20-26
Where: Singapore Sports Hub, OCBC Arena Hall 1
Who: Singapore (world No. 28) will take on Ireland (25th), Namibia (33rd), Botswana (26th), Papua New Guinea (20th) and Cook Islands (12th).
Tickets are available via www.apactix.com/events/detail/m1nationscup-2019