My Volleyball Journey

Volleyball has been a big part of my life, for close to 9 years now, since I was 13.

Apart from the occasional track medal and one tchoukball medal, the rest of my medals are from my favourite sport: volleyball.

I was introduced to this sport by this coach of mine, Mr Lui Tiow Kar at Chung Cheng High (Yishun). I was so thin and scrawny; the only reason he picked me to be part of the team was because I was quite tall for a sec 1 girl at that time, standing at about 162cm. Very thankful for him not only for imparting volleyball skills to us, but also for teaching us life values and the importance of discipline.

Scanned this from my CCHY yearbook: my very first volleyball team! Please don't try to find me because I look horrible. I remember how I did not even think of joining a sports CCA as I was from Chinese Orchestra in my primary school, playing the huge double bass. But coach Lui immediately pulled me into his team because of my height. My team was only his 3rd batch of players as he had just started out coaching on his own, starting a new CCA in Chung Cheng as well. 

 We trained hard and our first achievement was 4th place in North Zone 2006 C'Div National Championships. (very hard to scan properly without tearing the page from the whole book itself so this will have to do) 

Things were smooth-sailing and I was into my 3rd year of the sport when something excruciatingly painful happened!
I dislocated my right knee during training! :o
Super painful I swear I think up till now it is the most painful experience of my life! 
I do not have photos of it because nobody took out their phone at that moment, and also all my teammates freaked out and cried cause my knee was out-of-shape. Furthermore, ALL OF THEM momentarily forgot the ambulance number hahahaha. Okay if I weren't in so much pain I would've found it funny but I was lying on the floor crying like mad!
I was whisked off to KK hospital after someone called the ambulance la and it was a horrifying experience because it hurt so so so much. )': The nurses/paramedics in the ambulance still tell me I'm breathing in laughing gas and asked if I felt like laughing......  Anyway this was the cast they first wrapped me in after a doctor came to fix my out-of-shape knee. The cast was so heavy and I learnt I had to lift up my right leg in order to use the crutches.

I went back in a week to upgrade to this hard cast and of course I chose pink! and had my friends write on it! This incident actually impacted my life quite significantly because my parents weren't too keen on letting me continue volleyball. I myself wasn't too sure as well because I didn't want to sacrifice my physical wellness. But even with my cast on I still attended training sessions to practice digging and upper hand skills; so I knew I couldn't just stop my passion like that.

This is me walking in school with the cast and crutches. I ditched the crutches a few days after because I realized I could walk without them, by leaning on the cast. My clique always pretended that I needed help so they can take the lift up to our classrooms with me after morning assembly hahaha.

The first few months after I removed my cast were spent on strengthening my thigh muscles. I lost almost all the muscles in my right thigh and it was as skinny as my calf! Couldn't even lift up my leg when I first removed the cast. Took a few days before I could even walk without holding on to something. No physio was done, and I didn't need it anyway. Just went back to training after I can walk and my thigh muscles came back! 
Highlight of our team activities was definitely the trip to Xiamen, China for training and friendly matches!

Their welcome note for us! So sweet right!

Warming up in court with coach walking around.

 Exchanging gifts representing our country.

 I remembered this match very well... every single one of us (all 6 players) missed our serve for the first set. SO SO SO embarrassing in front of so many spectators and coach was furious.

 6 of us squeezed in one room with 3 double-decker beds! Let's just say the room was not very 'clean'. We slept in here for 9 nights and it was only until the last night that I found out the sound I have been hearing since the first night was not the fan because it was never switched on! Also, my best friend frog experienced the whole double decker bed shaking while she was sitting on it. Super duper scary!!

Another warm-up shot before training!

Team bonding time! Love this candid shot of us laughing!
Last of the photos taken in Xiamen!

 At one of coach's annual Christmas party!

Cute birthday gift from my teammates!

There was one day when ALL my teammates were late for training (I wasn't). Then coach proceeded to scold me so harshly for not making sure the team is punctual and then I cried afterwards while setting up the net hahaha. #woesofbeingcaptain

Also, we achieved another milestone for coach and for CCHY: 4th place in North Zone B'Div Championships 2008 as well as top 8 in Nationals. Couldn't have done it without the team's effort! 

My first few teammates will always remain precious to me in my life as we continue to grow up together.

Graduated from CCHY bringing fond memories along with my O'level cert.


Moving on, I entered Nanyang Junior College through the Direct School Adminssion (DSA) with volleyball.
NYJC needed players and because I wasn't a very good player that time, I think that was the reason why they accepted me hahaha. On my part, I wasn't sure if I should head to poly or JC after my O'levels; the common dilemma faced by quite a few students. Since I was offered this chance to enter NYJC, which otherwise with my grades alone I would not have made it in, I just took it. The volleyball team was is still coached by Mr Shen Keqin and teacher in charge Mr Tam Choon Chor.

Because I was already accepted as part of the team before school officially started, I was given the privilege to join the team on a trip to Sibu, Sarawak for friendly matches! Even got back a gold medal for a small Sibu Under-18 Volleyball competition there haha.

 This was a picture of us taken in the gym in NYJC, where we go to before every training, three times a week. This was the period where my life was just school and volleyball because trainings take up most of my time after school. We trained three days a week, from about 6pm to 10pm. Under the coaching of Mr Shen and the so-many gym sessions, I started to build up muscles and with my thunder thighs, I was able to jump pretty high.

Miraculously with only 9 girls in our team, we made it to the finals! Our final match that year was against VJC. 

Read about our A'div finals HERE as reported by Red Sports. My first time entering the finals!

 Start of the finals match!

VICTORY! The moment we won the last point. Champion for A'Div National Championships 2009! Yes a group hug for the champion team is always mandatory! ^^ Plus Zuoyi was so excited she jumped so high and out-of-sync with us hahaha

One shot of me spiking during the finals match!

Also, we appeared on the newspaper! My first proud moment and mummy cut it out to laminate for me hehehe.

I also played for TNT for the Volleyball Association of Singapore (VAS) Open Championships in 2010 and got the gold medal without doing much hahaha. Grateful for this team of older sisters who guided me along!

So it's back to training with the juniors! Unfortunately for me, I did not do well enough to promote to J2 for the first year. Too much playing and most of my time was spent on volleyball trainings. ): Decided to stay on another year in NYJC to work hard for my A'levels!

Hand made with love! It was Chienwen's idea and she taught us how to stitch up a doll! ^^ This was our farewell gift for the seniors! (except me cause I'm not graduating with them sobs) 

 Anyway, we got to go to Beijing for some holiday fun! Also got to catch the Beijing Olympics and watch LIVE the volleyball match between China and Korea!!! Exciting!

The next year, 2010, was sad for our team because we failed to enter the first round of the A'div championships due to some minor point calculations... )':
Oh and it was only until the end of 2010 after the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) ended that coach told me the YOG vb committee initially wanted me to join them but he declined them for me cause of some internal politics? There goes my chance of playing for Singapore.

And also very sad for me was the next next year, 2011, I was appointed team captain... but I had to leave the team because it was my A'levels year and I was still not passing anything and my parents were adamant about me quitting the team. So I did leave to fully concentrate on my studies and disappointed so many people.. )':

Another team photo! Red is team Nanyang's color! Nanyang gave me many memories and I had lots of fun with the volleyball team. Not to mention how Mr Tam took care of us so well. We trained hard and played hard!


Graduated from NYJC with my quite-bad A'level results and was lucky I got accepted into NTU based on my results alone! No help from the sports sector or volleyball and I'm quite proud of this hahaha. Eventually I joined the volleyball team as well of course, couldn't resist the temptation of playing competitively again.
Our team is currently coached by Mr Chen Hong Ping and and team manager Mr Chia Chin Yeh! ^^

 Tears of sadness because our beloved seniors are graduating!!

  The NTU volleyball team brought me much fun & laughter! I have never had such a vulgar team before and everyone is super super hyper and loud! So so many times we just couldn't stop laughing and so many times I've teared up while laughing. (': Even though sometimes they laugh AT me, but it's really funny so I end up laughing as well!

Snapshots from our IVP games in AY2012/2013

Shaking hands after the game.

 Blocking with Joelle and her ultra long hands!

Clinched 1st-runner-up for both Singapore University Games (SUniG) as well as Institute-Varsity-Politechnic (IVP) games that academic year 2012/2013. We're tired of getting silver!!

Training! Yes we cheer for every point we gain! #NTUspirit
Love this candid shot by my senior Yumei who goes by the name Yum and loves cats and also check out her fashion website Style on Campus!

I also took part in NTU inter-hall games (IHG) representing Hall 8 in AY2012/2013!


Many supporters and spectators!

Cannot stand how I look so ugly and unglam when I spike but it's muscle memory ingrained since I was 13, nothing I can do about it!! ):

 Team NTU Hall 8! Champion for NTU IHG AY2012/2013! ^^

Champion team jumpshot!
Check out the video of our highlights and an interview with us HERE on VoxSports. I especially love the slow-mo of my spike! hahaha. Pardon my grammatical error when I said "we wasn't" it was a mistake because I was too nervous!

We took part in the VAS opens championships 2013 as team NTU and came in as the 3rd-runner-up! Good experience for us competing with many strong teams! (special thanks to Jonas who helped us hold up the net for this pic)

Yan Shuang screaming at me hahaha.

Flying in to spike the ball see everybody standing up so straight never cover me!

 Blocking with Joelle again!

 Step by step spiking! Step 1: be prepared

 Step 2: ready the jump

step 3: attack!!!

Happy after winning a point! ^^

 During the academic year 2013/2014, we had many tall juniors coming in! Yet, we still lost to SIM during SUniG, and came in 1st-runner-up again. But no matter there's always the next year! Thank you big-headed cute Lyon mascot for helping to cheer us on!


Thanks to the effort of the whole team, WE WON CHAMPION FOR IVP 2013/2014!!! (:

 Champions deserve a selfie hehehe. Photo credits to Tien Leng! (:

Yes see I cheering very loudly for my team. Really cheered and screamed like mad that day, all worth it for that gold medal!! (':

 Very thankful for the opportunity to lead as vice-captain for the team this year, beside this captain of mine Jing Xian! ^^

Also, you can catch our interview on VoxSports HERE. I was never good with words on camera and said so many incorrect information omgggg. But it's okay we won hahaha.

Team NTUVB championnnnnnnnn!

ON THE WALL pic! At NTU, we have sort of a 'wall of champions' in our Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC) where only champion team photos will be hung up! YAY FINALLY WILL HAVE MY TEAM AND MY FACE on the wall!

Glad to be part of so many awesome teams and hope I will still have to chance to continue volleyball after I graduate from NTU in 2 years' time!

Check out my team's recent achievement at
VAS Singapore Open in Aug 2014 HERE
Tharman Veteran Cup in Sept 2014 HERE
Singapore Uni Games (SUniG) in Oct 2014 HERE
NTU Inter-Hall Games (IHG) in Jan/Feb 2015 HERE
Singapore Uni Games (SUniG) in Sep 2015 HERE
Alternatively, you can click the label 'volleyball' and get the link to all my vb posts.

xoxo, kaitinghearts


  1. can you do a post dedicated to the whole knee injury episode? i find your story very inspiring!