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Singapore Netball Hero Jean NG

1 When did you first see netball being played?
In my primary school, that was practically the only sport played at that time
Jean started playing Netball at a very young age and she used to be in Track and Field before choosing Netball. Jean started representing Singapore in 1999. She is also part of the 6th Asian Netball Championship winning team and has representated Singapore at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games too.

Name: Jean Ng
Date of Birth: 21.03.78
Height: 174.5cm
Playing Position: Goal Defence, Goal Keeper
International Cap: 46

Singapore Canada Test Series, Canada (2006)
XVIII Commonwealth Games, Melbourne (2006)
6th Asian Netball Championships, Singapore (2005)
Singapore Papua New Guinea Test Series, PNG (2005)
Singapore Malaysia Test Series, Malaysia (2000 - 2002)
5th Asian Netball Championship, Sri Lanka (2001)
S.E.A Games, Malaysia (2001)
World Netball Championship, Christchurch (1999)

2 Did you enjoy the game straight away, or did you share it with the love for other sports, if so what are they?
I Enjoyed playing a variety of sports when I was in school. I was quite seriously involved in Track and Field for 10 years and enjoyed playing other games like handball and basketball recreationally. However, I always enjoyed the game of netball most. The more I played, the better I became and this deepened my love for the game.
3 Did your family encourage you when you were younger to participate in sports?
My family have always been the active family. My parents played badminton with us when we were kids and in their own way, encouraged me to be active. When I started taking up sports seriously (at that time, it's representing school and being involved in interschool tournaments), my parents were quietly supportive.
4 Does it make you angry that unlike male sports little or no money is made by the netball players?
Not really. I play this game because I love it, and enjoy playing netball with a group of like minded friends who belive that playing for the country is the best honours. S o no, didn't really think about the money bit.
5 What is your profession outside playing netball?
I'm a manager with the Singapore Tourism Board.

Jean and fellow Netball players Zhang Tingjun and Lin Qingyi with the winning trophy at the 6th Asian Netball Championship 2005
6 What is your favourite position?
Has got to be Goal Keeper.
7 Was it always a goal to play for Singapore?
Yes, definitely! it's the highest honour in sport in Singapore. I always had the secret yearning to be good enough to someday represent Singapore even when I was a little kid playing school netball. Thankfully Netball Singapore has a good youth and player development structure in place to allow young netballers a chance to do so.

8 How many caps have you played for your country
46 international caps
9 Describe what it was like to be part of the winning team that won the 6 th Asian Netball Championship in 2005
It was amazing and a great encouragement for all the hours put in training for the event. Especially for me as I was part of the team that lost by a goal to to Sri Lanka in the 4th Asian Netball Championships in 2001. It was also a personal triumph as I was recovering from a major injury then. Playing in front of the home crowd cheering the team's every success made it all the more special. I don't think we've ever played in front of a packed (bursting) Toa Payoh Sports Hall
10 How does it make you feel when you are out there on court playing for Singapore?
Most times, a great sense of pride and also responsibility as you are flying the country's flag upon your performance
11 Do all the girls have a good relationship?
Definitely. The girls all get along really well. I mean, for a bunch of 12 women to see each other practically everyday (sometimes twice a day), we must get along really well. There are seldom any arguements, we're all pretty supportive of each other and push each other on to work harder. Most of us are also close friends off court
12 Who is your favourite person to play against out of all the other teams worldwide?
Tough question! I actually think it is the Jamaican Goal Shooter Elaine Davis. I mean she's a great player and while I'm not in her league, she's a good player to "practise" against because as a defender, you can still get to some ball. Vicki Wilson (ex australian capt) as well cos she's really nice.
13 When was your first international cap?
My first international cap was in the World Champs in 1999. The most ironic thing was we opened our campaign against Malaysia whose our regular sparring opposition

14 Do you get nervous when playing the top teams?
Sometimes but not always. Prefer to focus more on how well the team plays and my personal performance. Once you start playing, any nervousness fades away. I'd probably get more nervous playing games that really matter. eg: Asian Champs finals.

15 Have you ever had any major injuries?
Tore my ACL 2 years ago, 6 months before the Asian Champs (which was to be held in Feb 05 but got postponed because of the Tsunami). Was a very challenging period in my sporting life

Many Thanks to Jane Sng and Jean Ng for making this interview possible.
All photos Courtesy of Netball Singapore

16 If you had not taken up netball professionally what other sport would
you of chosen?
Probably track and field as I had been doing that for 10 years and it's a challenging discipline. and i also really enjoyed playing handball.
17 What advice would you give to anyone wanting to play netball seriously?
I would say that you must be willing to sacrifice a lot time and other things in life (like partying, hanging out with friends ) to make it. It starts with the right attitude and wanting to work hard to achieve your goal, even if it means doing extra outside training like that extra run or strength work. You would have to manage your time as well. But in return, there is a lot of satisfaction and friendships made along the way.
18 How would you describe your feelings if Netball was chosen to be part of the olympics?
It would be wonderful because the olympics represent the pinnacle of sporting excellence. To be a part of that calendar and having the chance to play in it would bring a different meaning to "representing your country". netball had the opportunity to be part of the Comonwealth games calendar and playing in that Games was an experience I'll greatly treasure.

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