Sophia Rose Meyers, 17
FRIEND OF ACTXA
National Youth Sailor, 'A' Division Footballer
Q1: What is it like dealing with pressure or expectations to win as a national youth sailor? How does it compare to playing A Division football for Victoria JC?
It's definitely quite stressful to deal with expectations, especially at regattas. What I may define as doing well may not match up in the eyes of others, and this really affected me for a period of time in 2018, when I felt that I wasn’t good enough to be in the national team. However, my coach managed to convince me that my definition of success shouldn't be up to others to decide. Since then, I've tried to block out such “external noise” and set my own goals.
Playing for the Victoria Junior College A Division football team is a very different story. Although everyone has very high expectations of us since we have been defending champions since 2003, all the girls in my team are very encouraging. We spur each other on in a positive manner and fight even harder for gold. That definitely makes dealing with the pressure a lot easier.
Q2: Of the different NAPFA exercises (e.g. 2.4km run, standing broad jump), which do you excel at the most? Do you train harder for it?
I'm probably best at sit-ups compared to the other exercises; I somehow find it more enjoyable. I don't necessarily train harder for NAPFA but I do try and make sure that I do relatively well for all the stations. That’s why I try to train up for the standing broad jump and 2.4km run because I'm slightly weaker in those.
Q3: Choose one from the following: burger and fries, laksa, nasi lemak, bak chor mee. Any particular reason?
It's a tough decision but I would have to go for nasi lemak! Nothing can compete with a steaming plate of fragrant rice, crispy chicken and sambal with ikan bilis – it's one of my favourites! Although I know it's not very healthy, I can't imagine a world in which I can’t indulge in a plate of nasi lemak at least once a month.
Q4: What’s your ethnicity? Is there a typical reaction when strangers discover that you can speak Mandarin and you’re not actually a foreigner?
My mum is Singaporean while my dad is American, so I’m actually Caucasian. I've spent my whole life in Singapore and definitely feel like a Singaporean more than American, although my appearance says otherwise.
People definitely get a shock when they hear me speak Mandarin, especially teachers or coffee shop assistants. I love ordering my food in Mandarin and watching the stunned expressions of the coffee shop uncles/aunties. They'll normally ask if I'm a 外国人 (foreigner), at which I'll laugh and reply that I'm actually Singaporean. Sometimes they're so amused that they give me extra food! #bonus
Q5: Imagine that you’re stranded on an island with one other person. Who would you prefer that person be?
My choice would be Bear Grylls, haha! Being an amateur at survival skills, I figure I’d need someone experienced and capable of actually finding food and water in the wild, so who else than the infamous Man vs Wild host. Hopefully I don't end up having to drink my own pee, because that won't be fun!