VJC's javelin girl spearheading bid for 7th straight football title
Dual-sport athletes not a rarity in girls' and boys' football teams of Victoria Junior College
Two months ago, Victoria Junior College (VJC) student Deseree Khor dominated the A Division Girls' javelin event by clinching the gold medal at the National Schools Track and Field Championships.
Today, the 17-year-old will be hoping to conquer the football pitch.
|VICTORIA JC||ST ANDREW’S JC|
She is eyeing her second gold as the VJC girls' football team, who are the six-time defending champions, meet St Andrew's Junior College (SAJC), whom they have beaten three times in four finals.
Deseree, a first-year student, is equally adept at both the javelin and leading the line.
She threw a personal-best 32.63m en route to clinching javelin gold at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in March - her fourth since she picked up the sport with Cedar Girls' Secondary School in 2015.
The striker has also thumped in three goals in four matches for the VJC girls' football team.
"I like throwing and the feeling of achieving more but sometimes, I get tired of it," said Deseree. "The fact that I have two sports means that once I get tired of one, I can just switch to the other."
Although she is getting the best of both worlds, it also means devoting a lot of time to her sporting pursuits.
After discussing with Tan Yew Hwee, VJC's head of department for physical education, and the teachers-in-charge, she trains twice a week for each sport to ensure she gets sufficient practice and rest.
The Cristiano Ronaldo fan added that she had always been interested in football but it was not available as a co-curricular activity at Cedar Girls. Not surprisingly, she signed up for football upon entering VJC.
"My plan was to just play football because after throwing for four years, I wanted to try something new," she said.
"But I was asked to continue throwing because VJC had very few throwers."
Deseree is not the only dual-sport athlete in the VJC girls' football team.
Her teammates Melina Thebe and Sophia Rose Meyers also juggle different sports.
Melina, 18, competes in long- distance races in track and field (1,500m, 3,000m) and cross country (3,800m).
It comes as no surprise that she dominates the football pitch as a striker with endless stamina and sizzling speed.
Sophia, who plays as a defensive midfielder, is also a national youth sailor.
The 17-year-old finished 12th in the mixed Nacra 15 event at last year's Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, alongside partner Chia Teck Pin.
Sophia trains up to eight times a week to fit in both her sailing and football passions. She has training sessions in both sports on Saturdays.
"What I like most about (football) is that I'm able to be rough with opponents and really show my strength," said Sophia, who has been sailing for seven years and picked up football only this year.
Tan added that there are a handful of dual-sport athletes in VJC.
For instance, most of the boys' cross-country team are also footballers or badminton players.
"We definitely want to maximise athletes' abilities... We do encourage students to pick up other sports but only if they are able to manage," he said.
"Academics is still number one. If they are able to balance their studies, then we push them for more in sports."
When asked if the girls can win their seventh straight title and 12th overall, he said: "Yes, of course. But it will be a tough game and the girls will have to be on guard.
"We have a history of meeting SAJC in the finals and they have recently rebuilt their team. At the end of the day, the team who want it most will win."