Thursday, July 11, 2013

Welcome Back, Team Singapore!

From left: Chow Wei Li, Jason Soh and Eunice Chia, the first three NYP participants to return to Singapore
Jason Soh was glad that he managed to keep the NYP School of Information Technology (SIT) legacy alive. The third year Diploma in Information Security student had just returned from his trip to Leipzig, Germany, where he won the coveted WorldSkills Competition 2013 gold medal in IT Network Administration – a category which NYP competitors have defended its title three times in a row. This was Singapore’s fourth win in the WorldSkills Competition with NYP carrying the flag each time.

Although Jason admitted to feeling stressed during the competition, he was also grateful for the support from his mentor, Kravitz Hwang, and coaches, Viridis Liew and Heng Yiak Por, who did their best to keep his spirits up.

“The competition was mentally and physically draining,” said Jason. “But my mentor and coaches gave me pep talks and asked me to attempt each problem with a fresh mind. That really helped.”

Family, friends and NYP staff were gathered at the airport on Tuesday  to welcome Jason, Eunice Chia, and Chow Wei Li, the first batch of NYP participants to arrive back in Singapore after their grueling -four-day competition in Germany.

Although they were tired, the three students were pleasantly surprised by the warm reception at Changi Airport, and the flowers and stuffed toys their NYP lecturers had bought for them.

“We were very happy for the achievements of Team Singapore and especially proud of Jason,” said Loh Chuu Yi, deputy director (SIT), NYP. “Our colleagues had worked hard to train him well and take good care of him, and we wanted to spring him and his team a surprise welcome with the NYP bear and flowers at the airport.”

One of the supporters who showed up at the airport was NYP alumnus Tan Thiam Shui (in blue, above). He won the Gold medal at WorldSkills Calgary 2009.

“I met Jason when he was training for WorldSkills and I’m proud that he won Gold for Singapore, said Thiam Shui. "I just want to be there to congratulate him in person because I know it wasn’t an easy journey, having taken part in it myself.”

Eunice, who took part in the CNC Turning category, was happy to be back and happier to have won a Medallion of Excellence, for her good performance in her competition area.

According to her, many of her competitors had up to five years of experience working in well-known multinational companies. As a fresh Diploma in Digital & Precision Engineering graduate from NYP, she was glad to have done as well as she expected.

So how did our participants manage to keep themselves in top form at the competition?

Jason tried to get enough sleep and drink as much water as possible. He even stocked his hotel room with mineral water bottles from the competition centre because, as he explained, the tap water in Germany is hard.

Eunice was luckier.

“I feel very privileged because I was the only girl in my category and the other competitors really took care of me,” she said with a smile.

After much fanfare and photo taking, our competitors left with their families and friends.

Eunice will be going on a holiday to Malaysia with her parents, while Jason will be taking a short break before he starts his internship with Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies next week.

Welcome back, Team NYP. Have a well-deserved rest and a wonderful break! The remaining four NYP WorldSkills Competitors will also be returning to Singapore soon.

In total, NYP won a total of two gold medals and three Medallions of Excellence in the WorldSkills Competition in 2013. In Audrey Foo from SHS (Nursing), NYP also produced the nation’s best performer.

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