Madeleine Ong

Learning to let go of my fears and mistakes have taught me to be courageous.
News & Events News & Events News & Events Highlights Fear is often the response to setbacks but national archer, Madeleine Ong, has learned to triumph in the face of adversity and not cave in to the fear of failure. She shares about her passion for sport and how difficult times have enabled her to grow stronger. Fill in the blank with the adjective that describes you best:  I am courageous Please elaborate on why you chose the adjective above. There is always a lot of pressure because I am representing my nation at competitions and I often feel fearful.  I once missed a target and that mistake seemed unforgivable since it was at the 2018 Asian Games, a high-level competition. However, I got tired of always giving in to my fears and letting them get to me, so I looked for help and trained really hard before the season started in January 2019. Each time I got nervous and wanted to drop out of a trial, I would tell myself to take a step at a time and focus on what really matters - the process. As I subsequently got over my fears through training, I became braver to face my fears and I finally became confident of my own abilities.  Learning to let go of my fears and mistakes have taught me to be courageous. What sparked your passion for archery and what did you enjoy most about it? It started out as something out of curiosity in secondary school on annual sports day. I took a proper course later and the feeling of drawing the bow and shooting the arrow was addictive. I enjoyed the calmness while shooting and the focus that I got when aiming and the rest is history. Why did you choose to pursue a sports studies & marketing degree? As an athlete, I wanted to understand sports better since I have been in this field for quite some time and since the sports market in Singapore was growing, I felt that I should take up a sports degree. I was interested in what SIM GE offered - managing sport. I was introduced to a marketing module during my diploma days, and I enjoyed understanding marketing content as I felt it was rather interesting to see how companies market themselves. How did you juggle university and your sporting commitments? I had to manage my time well and keep to my training schedule.  I did not procrastinate on my assignments or wake up late for training. SIM GE has also been very supportive to me and it has given me the flexibility to train in the morning and attend classes at night. I was unable to find a place that would allow me to train at night. Hence, I was really thankful that SIM GE allowed me to join tutorial classes with part-time students so I could still train for most days of the week. Likewise, my classmates have been very helpful. When I was participating in competitions overseas and I had trouble with my assignments, they were very kind to help me with my assignments and explained areas that I had difficulty understanding. What did you enjoy most being a student in SIM GE? It was the positive environment that I enjoyed most. I have learned a lot from the lecturers and tutors who have drawn many real-life examples for us to understand the topics better. They were also very patient with us and ensured all of us could understand what they were trying to convey. On top of that, they have helped us hone life skills such as public speaking and interviewing skills. What’s one key lesson that you’ve learned from participating in competitions? I have learned to never, ever give up. I have encountered countless times where I was losing matches but I was able to turn the tables around and catch up with my opponents. One instance is the 2018 Asian Games where after missing the target, I was supposed to end up as the fourth archer for Team Singapore and that would mean not qualifying for the team event. I told myself to keep trying and do my very best so that I would not have regrets. I eventually surprised myself as I managed to qualify for the team event as the third archer! How do you overcome setbacks? I’ve learned even from athletes outside archery such as Naomi Osaka and Roger Federer and they have inspired me not to give up when competitions go wrong. I tell myself constantly that I learn the best from setbacks because they teach me what I should do and what I could have done better. I have learned how to see each setback as an opportunity to bounce back higher. #IChoseTheSIMPathway #ThisIsMyStory Click here to learn more about the programmes awarded by the University of Stirling. Posted online, 02 May 2019