Story by Joseph Lee/Red Sports
Catherine Chew, 24, is part of the equestrian team heading to Myanmar for the 2013 South-East Asian (SEA) Games. She will be competing in the show jumping event in Naypyidaw.
The second of four siblings, Catherine currently works as a Management Consultant Analyst with Accenture, juggling work along with her training.
Red Sports caught up with Catherine in the lead up to the SEA Games.
Red Sports: What challenges have you faced heading into the SEA Games?
Catherine: Definitely juggling between work and training. I used to train between six and 12 hours a day, but after starting work, I have cut this down to about seven hours per week.
What do you hope to gain from this SEA Games?
Catherine: For me, I love being in championship events and being in it. I would like to take this opportunity to grow together with the closely-knit team of mine and of course do well.
What was your training like in the lead-up to the SEA Games?
Catherine: I train twice a week on weekdays when my manager lets me off early to train and complete the work later at night. Apart from that, I ride every weekend and whenever I can to stay as active as possible.
How many times have you been to the SEA Games?
Catherine: This will be my third time at the SEA Games. My first edition was in 2005 where I was a finalist, and I placed fifth in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand. The 2009 edition of the SEA Games didn’t have equestrian as one of the sports while in 2011, there were quarantine issues with European-based horses. My horse was based in Europe during that time as I was racing in the European circuit, and it was not able to make the trip.
Who is your role model?
Catherine: I admire Roger Yves Bost and Marcus Ehning who are both riders. They are professional and strategic yet modest at the same time.
Outside of the sport, I read up quite a bit on Immanuel Kant. I look up to his writing as I agree with his stance on morality being about sacrifice. He also had a view of doing good for good’s own sake, which is something that is correct and relevant to how we conduct ourselves in our sports and lives. Not doing the sport for the sake of ego or material value but rather to commit ourselves to the sport and our country, as well as our supporters who have invested some piece of themselves in our performance.
When and how did you get started in your sport?
Catherine: I started at 9 when my mom rode and introduced me to it.
What is your favourite food?
Catherine: Hmm … Nasi Lemak.
If you did not take up show jumping, what other sport would you do?
Catherine: Horse vaulting or archery. I tried both before and took to both of them with ease.
Any pre-match or pre-event rituals?
Catherine: I don’t do much. I read or listen to music. But usually before my event, I’m quite calm as I don’t get stressed out frequently.
What is your biggest motivation?
Catherine: I’m quite competitive, so I’d say my biggest motivation would be to be the best rider in the competition.
Catherine Marissa Chew Yen Tung Biography
DOB: December 15, 1988
Event: Equestrian (Show jumping)
Current Occupation: Management Consulting Analyst, Accenture
– Best Asian Rider 2007
– Best Young Rider 2007
– CSI 2 star Rossendahl, 5th out of 50
– CSI 3 star Gera 2009, 9th out of 80
– CSI 4 star Spain La Coruna, 19th out of 50 in world rankings
All of us at Red Sports wish Catherine all the best at the 2013 SEA Games! Do drop Catherine a note of support in the comments section if you can. We’re sure she’ll appreciate it. You can also upload photos showing your support of Catherine on Instagram using #ourteamsg, or on the Team Singapore campaign’s website: www.ourteamsg.com