SINGAPORE – Going for Gold, an exclusive forum presented by Tiffany & Co., in conjunction with the 2017 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, was held earlier today at the Billie Jean King Suite, Racquet Club at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The discussion was led by guest speakers, May Schooling, mother of Singapore’s first ever Olympic gold medalist, Joseph Schooling, and Judy Murray, world-renowned tennis coach and mother of Grand Slam and Olympic champions Jamie and Andy Murray. They were joined by former WTA World No. 1, Olympic gold medalist and WTA Finals Legend Ambassador Lindsay Davenport, and shared their experiences in elite sports and as mothers. They spoke about their journey and shared their personal insights on what it takes to nurture a successful athletes and what it means to be a parent “going for gold”.
Schooling shared, “When Joseph told us that he wanted to go to the United States, we realised that we had to have a serious conversation with him to make sure that this was what he really wanted and this was the path that he wished to pursue,” shared Schooling.
She added, “As parents, we dream about seeing who or what our kids will become in the future, but I think what is more important is that we actually get to know them, to learn who they are and what they want to be as adults. There is no point forcing your child to do something against his will because that wouldn’t work well for the both of you. Let your child decide, then your role as parents is to support and guide them so they can achieve their dreams.”
Agreeing with Schooling, tennis coach, Murray, who mentored both Jamie and Andy when they were younger, said, “You need to understand what your kids’ passion and potential are, and then find ways to help them develop it in any way you can. Parents need to guide their children and help create opportunities for them – when they started hitting balloons across the sofa in our living room I had no idea they would end up Grand Slam champions!”
“When we started, there were lots of challenges because tennis was a minority sport in Scotland, weather is unfavourable, and facilities were limited, so as a mother I had to be creative and make the best of what we had,” recalled Murray “What really helped me was my experience in tennis and understanding what tennis demands of young players in terms of athleticism and how to play the game. I actually played a lot of other sports with Jamie and Andy when they were younger but their interest in tennis developed, so for me, I also had to learn how to coach and invest in myself in order to help them progress.”
Davenport, who currently coaches current World No.16, Madison Keys, said, “The bond between a mentor and the mentee is very special. Both of you need to have the same perspective, the same mind set, and the same goals, and that is usually to be the best and to win.”
“It’s always good to dream big and be ambitious because that’s what drives a person to succeed. However, it’s another aspect to be able to actually conceptualise how it will be done. As a coach, you need to have a structured plan or strategy on how things should flow and also how these plans are going to be executed because it needs to be relatable to the athlete.”
Melissa Pine, Vice President, WTA APAC and Tournament Director of the WTA Finals commented, “The journey to be a world-class athlete is full of challenges, and a strong support system is absolutely essential for success. Judy, Lindsay and May have all proven to be remarkable role models and provided the infrastructure, guidance and support essential for their children and mentees, truly embodying the spirit of elite sport. We hope that all the participants today gleaned insight into the fundamental pathways for cultivating champions of tomorrow.”
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