The 30th South East Asian Games in Manila, awaits Touché fencings’ three up and coming prodigies on a quest to learn and strengthen the growing sport of fencing in the region.
Eu Wen Wong, Resha Shaveena & Richard Chew are ready to carry the weight of a nation, spanning from the 3rd of December to the 8th of December. They’re all kindred spirits, as all three of them are competing in the sabre discipline. All fencers will be competing team events, Eu Wen will also be competing in the individual event representing Malaysia against the fencing powerhouses of South East Asia.
The biggest fear people have is the fear of the unknown, although Coach Mok a former Silver medallist at 1989 SEA Games, believes there is no medal expectations on his athletes. However, he warns to expect the unexpected, with his young talents in Manila in the coming days. As the opportunity presents an invaluable experience for these young fencers to shine.
Coach Mok, the Director of Coaching at the Touché Fencing stated, “I’m glad they are going, more importantly, they must go there with a positive attitude, it does not matter how they go in Manila. You go and give your best for your country and never stop learning even if it is the SEA Games or the Olympics”.
It hasn’t been an easy journey for these athletes to make the SEA Games. This underlies the incredible sacrifices and dedication that the parents have made to nurture these sporting talents to make it this far. While Coach Mok has instilled the understanding ‘to never set a limit on your potential’ which will serve some of the country’s brightest fencing talents well as they face the challenge of the highly competitive field in this edition of the SEA Games.
Richard Chew, a fencer at Touché fencing club said, “Our parents and coaches account for 90 percent of all the work done. They provided me with the proper training and of course the necessary funds to compete and have the equipment”.
The uncontainable excitement is laid bare for all to see, just speaking with these outstanding athletes and even more incredible ambassadors for Malaysia and fencing.
“Everywhere we go, we take the Malaysian name with us. Also, we show who we are as people and our culture” said Richard Chew who stands well over 6 foot tall.
Eu Wen, the second competitor from Touché Fencing stated, “I’m just excited to be there, there should not be too much pressure because you should enjoy the game more than thinking of winning. So, I believe this experience will do us good”.
The culture has been so infiltrated in sport around the world, by this obsession to win. However, somewhere along the line, we lost sight of the essence of sport’s purity. The ability to strengthen pride and love for the game and a nation.
“You are not just representing your country, your representing every Malaysian”. Eu Wen Wong said.
The mindset and humility of these individuals will take them far. The belief Coach Mok has imparted on his students especially, Ms Resha Shaveena who is the youngest of the three fencers competing in Manila. Has developed an attitude and wisdom well beyond her years when she said “I’m going to try my best and hopefully we could come back with a medal”.
This is the dream but it’s not the be-all and end-all, the lessons and the experience. These three precocious talents will experience moments that will last a lifetime. That is why sport is beautiful.
Written by, Rhys Ryan, an Australian Sports Journalist currently in Malaysia as part of the New Colombo Scholarship program.