Lim sisters aiming to shine at SEA Games indoor hockey competition
Juliette, Janna and Joan Anne hoping to do Republic proud in indoor hockey
When Joan Anne Lim, 31, picked up hockey in primary school, she was following in older sister Jolene's footsteps.
After graduating to secondary school, Joan made sure one of her younger sisters, Janna, 26, followed suit by switching from gymnastics.
When their hockey coach jokingly asked, "Any more sisters?", Janna replied: "Yes, more coming."
Two younger siblings Janelle, 25, and Juliette, 23, also picked up the hockey stick later.
Next week, Joan, Janna and Juliette will be representing Singapore at the SEA Games indoor hockey competition in Laguna, the Philippines.
This is their second Games together. The trio also played at the last edition in Kuala Lumpur, where they finished fourth.
Starting off as field players, they decided to switch to indoor hockey at the same time in 2015.
Together, they have over 52 years of hockey experience, and they are not afraid to show it.
The sisters certainly don't beat about the bush with one another.
Outsiders might mistake their straight-talking style for squabbling, but Janna, a physical education teacher, said it's just the way they communicate.
She told The New Paper before a training session at Woodlands Sports Hall: "It's funny because when we are giving instructions to each other, people think we are fighting but that's just how we talk.
"They will tell us to chill, but to us, we are!
"Playing with sisters, for me, it's good because when I get heated when playing, my tone can be nasty. But they don't take it personally.
"They know to sieve out the important points. When it gets difficult, I also know that I always have them around to help me."
The sisters are one another's closest pillars of support, but are also their biggest critics.
Joan, a secondary school teacher, said that they are not afraid to let each other know about their mistakes.
"We are not afraid to tell each other off and critique, no matter good or bad," she said.
"We might fight over it or be unhappy, but it'll only be for a while because ultimately, we want to help each other, even if they don't want it."
Juliette often bears the brunt of it, as she's the youngest of six siblings.
Said the third-year sports business management student at the Singapore Institute of Management: "They have been to more competitions than me, so there's a lot of pressure because there are certain things they want me to do that I can't seem to do yet.
"But they're always there to guide me, so I know that they only want me to do better even if they scold and bully me a lot."
Two other Lim sisters, Jolene, 32, and Janelle, 25, have stopped playing competitively. Jerome, 34, the eldest sibling and only son, did not play the sport.
National women's indoor hockey coach Redzuan Ponirin believes the three sisters' vocal style can work both ways.
"These sisters have their own characters," he said. "They are very strong vocally which can be good and bad.
"It serves both purposes, but I like that because I don't want a team where everything goes too smoothly."
The women's indoor hockey team, ranked world No. 39, are heading into the Games as underdogs among neighbours Malaysia (20), Thailand (29) and Indonesia (36).
But they had beaten hosts Philippines, who are unranked internationally, 3-2 on penalties at July's Indoor Hockey Asia Cup in Chonburi, Thailand, after a 1-1 draw - with the Lim sisters scoring in the shoot-out.