By Iman Hashim/Red Sports
I have always been an ardent follower of the local sports scene. Whenever a multi-sports event comes along – be it the Olympics, Commonwealth, Asian or SEA Games – I would keenly keep tabs on the exploits of our local athletes.
The school sports scene holds an even bigger place in my heart – from competing in track and field for eight long years to supporting my schoolmates in various other sports, there are countless memories that I find very difficult to let go of.
Naturally, when I had half a year to spare after completing National Service and while waiting for university to start, the thought of joining Red Crew cropped up. I thought I’d give it a go, and I never once regretted that decision!
Besides covering school sports, one of the distinctive moments during my Red Sports journey was covering a larger-scale event in the form of the Singapore National Age-Group (SNAG) Swimming Championships at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
From being entitled to an exclusive media pass, sharing the media room with reporters from mainstream media, writing stories under time pressure every night for one whole week, to brushing shoulders with national athletes like the Quah siblings, it was the closest I got to experiencing what it would be like working full-time in the media industry.
It was also a pleasure to write stories about young budding talents like Ephraim Tan, 12, and Glen Lim, 13. Who knows? They could be Singapore’s next swimming sensations in the future!
But of course, nothing came sweeter than being involved in the school sports scene once again, albeit in a different capacity. Soaking up the traditional inter-school rivalries and the deafening school cheers brought home nostalgia. It is what makes school sports special.
Being a track athlete myself, covering the 57th National Schools Track and Field Championships was the main highlight. It was extra memorable as the final day was held at the National Stadium, with 13,000 spectators in attendance.
Something I was pleased to have achieved during my Red Sports journey was covering a wide range of sports. Besides track and field, I covered cross country, football, floorball, hockey, netball, rugby and sepak takraw at the schools level, volleyball at the Singapore Youth Olympic Festival (SYOF), and not to mention swimming at the aforementioned SNAG Championships.
Apart from challenging myself to write about sports that I was less familiar with, it was an opportunity for me to raise the profile of certain sports – my coverage of the B Division sepak takraw final was probably a first for Red Sports!
It is also a pity that hockey’s popularity is on a steady decline in Singapore. So before the sport gets completely overhauled by its more popular cousin floorball, I thought that I’d give it as much media coverage as possible. 🙂
What I aimed for in my writing was giving readers the most vivid representation and description of the action. Most of the time, school sports action does not get documented on video – apart from the occasional enthusiastic parent holding a videocam.
But a Red Sports reporter has the power to capture the action and translate it into words. And I cannot be more glad that I could exercise this power, such that when a student-athlete reads my story, he can relive his moment of glory all over again.
The best part about the experience, though, was talking to the athletes. It was always heartwarming getting to know the athletes better, learning about the sacrifices they made, and hearing them pay tribute to their support network.
Often, as an athlete, you have many reflections after a game or race, but always keep them to yourself. As such, being a reporter, I had the pleasure of getting these athletes to recollect and articulate their thoughts, and transcribing them into black and white.
Moreover, nothing was more rewarding than meeting the same athletes again on another day at another venue, and receiving a simple “hi” and “thank you” for the story I had written about them the previous day.
On a more personal front, being a naturally introverted and reclusive character, this Red Sports journey allowed me to open up and improve my interpersonal skills when talking to total strangers. At the same time, I am grateful to have gained a family in the form of Uncle Les and the rest of the Red Crew!
Uncle Les is the most patient mentor you can wish for, and I am very thankful for his belief in me to exercise freedom in my writing. Not to mention the occasional Red Crew gatherings at his house with yummy food included!
By joining Red Crew, you are guaranteed to meet fellow like-minded and fun-loving human beings whom you can call your friends. The best thing about the Red Sports journey … is that it never ends.
Red Sports internship 10/10 would recommend.
About the author: Iman Hashim, 21, is in his first year of undergraduate studies at the National University of Singapore.
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