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SEA Games 2023: Team Singapore celebrate Mother’s Day

We pay tribute to Team Singapore’s mothers – athletes, their parents and those who have left us.

This Mother’s Day, The Straits Times celebrates the mighty mums of Team Singapore – athletes, their parents and those who stay forever in their hearts.

As fit as athletes, because these mothers need to be

They are up at the crack of dawn, stay in shape and travel around the world for competitions – while meticulously keeping track of performances.

And that is just the athletes’ mothers. If one thinks only athletes lead a focused and disciplined lifestyle, spare a thought for their mums.

At these SEA Games, at least seven table tennis mums have travelled from Singapore to Cambodia to support their children.


Athlete mums get kick from competing, winning

Riding many kilometres on hilly terrain can take a physical and mental toll, but national cyclist Faye Foo feels motherhood has prepared her for the “hurt locker”.

The 39-year-old mum of Matthew and Oliver, aged eight and six respectively, said: “Having given birth and cared for two kids, waking up at 4am does not feel like a massive chore to me.

“I can now deal with very little sleep and juggle multiple things on hand. It boils down to being super disciplined. The mental aspect helps when we are pedalling hard against girls who seem to fly up slope, and your mind is telling you to just drop it because it’s too hard. But I just grit my teeth and get through it.”


Late mums always in these Singapore athletes’ hearts

On Sunday, many athletes competing at the SEA Games will be calling home or texting their mums, while for others like footballer Nur Izzati Rosni and wushu exponent Vera Tan, it will be a day of remembrance instead.

When Izzati scored the winner off the bar against Laos last May to help the national women’s football team claim their first win at the SEA Games in 37 years, she formed an “A” with her hands before being mobbed by her teammates.

While the stunning strike deserved an A grade, it was actually a tribute to Nor Aishah, her mother who died at 53 after a two-year battle with cancer in 2021.