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Breaking Through: A Youth's Ambition to Join the National Team

Alicia* has big dreams, and she is not about to let others' doubt or disbelief stop her from achieving them. Here is her story:

"I first started playing football when I was 8 years old. My brother would usually bring me to a football court at a nearby void deck whenever we played with each other. I watched him play with his friends and got very curious, so I told my brother I wanted to try playing too. He told me I was too young to play with him because of my physique.

Instead, my brother handed me the ball and told me to practice kicking the ball at the side of the court. I started to practice every time I headed down to the court. It got me so excited and curious to learn more about this sport.

One day, my brother invited me to play with his friends on the court because they lacked players. He told me to be the goalkeeper for his team. At first, I was surrounded by so many people and was intimidated by them because their physiques were so much bigger than mine. But nothing could stop me from playing the game as a goalie! I tried blocking the ball, failed but tried again. And there, I saved one goal! That very first save gave me the confidence to play in court.

I continued to practice and play in my free time. During school recess time, I would play with my classmates while on the weekends, I played with my siblings. In August 2023, a friend invited me to the Jurong Drop-in Centre. I met many new friends and staff here, and even played football with them!

There are so many people to play football with here, which makes the game more challenging and fun. Even though I may not be experienced and know little about the game rules, the staff were very encouraging and helpful in teaching me how to play better.

One of the staff, Dorcas, also inspired me to be a better football player. Whenever we were on the court, she generously imparted her skills to me and taught me to be a better team player. Over time, this also increased my confidence as a person too!

I want to encourage all my peers to work hard and don’t give up easily! If you are an aspiring football player, practice alone and don’t be afraid to seek help from others. Just do it!"

As Alicia continues to work towards her now dream to be part of Singapore's National Football team someday, we hope that he story of passion and determination inspires you to take that next step to achieve your dreams!

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the youths

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