Overcoming Setbacks and Clinching Victory


Badminton Player, Yeo Jia Min, at the Vietnam Open Grand Prix on July 14, 2016, when she claimed her first international Singles title – Photo courtesy of Trung Ho for SBA

Seventeen-year-old badminton player Yeo Jia Min is a young woman who knows how to overcome setbacks and turn them into successes. When doctors told her she had to miss making her debut at the Singapore 2015 Southeast Asian Games after hurting her right knee, she was devastated. However, Jia Min, who has been playing badminton since Primary 2, never thought of giving up the sport she loves. Instead, she bid her time and focused on healing, on her faith and on her mental frame.

The struggle only made her tougher and as a result, the Singapore Sports School student-athlete made a stunning comeback, after a year’s hiatus, at Vietnam’s Yonex Sunrise Open Grand Prix in July, beating the region’s top seeds to win her very first international Singles title.

A month later, on September 18, 2016, Jia Min won the Jaya Raya Yonex Sunrise Junior Grand Prix (U19) in Indonesia and on 22 September, she rose to number 5 on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Junior List.

In an interview with The Straits Times, chief coach of Singapore Badminton Association (SBA), Chua Yong Joo, said he hopes that Jia Min’s win will spur other players to achieve similar results. Jia Min, who plans to continue along this trajectory to become a professional badminton player, is a beneficiary of the EW Barker Endowment, part of Temasek Foundation Nurtures, which is funded by Temasek Trust.

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About the EW Barker Endowment

The S$35 million EW Barker Endowment is part of Temasek Foundation Nurtures, which is funded by Temasek Trust, the philanthropic arm of Temasek Holdings. Its aim is to nurture young talent in the area of sports and support the Singapore Sports School and its student-athletes. The endowment was named after one of Singapore’s pioneering leaders, Mr EW Barker, a prominent Singaporean politician and minister, who was also a top student athlete in his youth. One of the many roles Mr Barker held during his distinguished career was presiding over the Singapore National Olympic Council from 1970-1990.

About the Singapore Sports School

The Singapore Sports School is a Specialised Independent School under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. It is the only school in Singapore that offers select youths an integrated academic and sports programme in a world-class environment. Mr Goh Chok Tong, Singapore’s second Prime Minister, officially opened it in 2004. The Sports School aims to nurture “Learned Champions With Character” – To find out more, please visit www.sportsschool.edu.sg .

Did you know…

Badminton was introduced in Singapore in the early 19th century by the British and reached the height of its success in the 1950s. As part of the Malayan team, Singapore clinched the inaugural Thomas Cup in 1949 and retained it in 1952 and 1955. Today, Singapore shuttlers (or badminton players) continue to succeed in the global arena by clinching numerous medals in the Commonwealth and Southeast Asian Games Games.