ACS(I) all-rounder Kevin bounces back from disappointment
ACS(I) all-rounder responds from missing out on AYG by taking ownership of training
He is the level captain of the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) swim team, the student council president, and won four golds at this year's National Schools Swimming Championships.
Kevin Ong, 17, also received this year's Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence.
Despite his achievements, the teenager says he could not have done it alone.
"There are so many people behind all this - my coaches, my parents especially, and my friends," said Kevin, who started swimming at age four.
These support systems, along with his school, are crucial in making him the athlete and person that he is, he said.
Kevin has done well after bouncing back from missing out on the 2013 Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China. He won a bronze in the 4x50m mixed medley relay at the Fina World Cup here last year, and claimed the men's 50m backstroke title at the Neo Garden Singapore National Swimming Championships in June.
"I knew I was capable of doing well, but the only things that prevented me from getting there were inconsistent training and a lack of focus. I really learned from that," he said.
"I also learned to take ownership of my own training - back then I thought that just showing up at the pool would be enough, but I realised there was so much more to it.
"If I put my heart and soul into every training, then it makes a huge difference as it's the little things that add up."
ACS(I)'s teacher-in-charge of swimming, Goh Hwee Hwee, said Kevin's ability to "affirm members of the team" as his biggest strength.
She said: "He believes in the potential of others, and often encourages the younger swimmers to step up and take the lead.
"Once, we walked past a group of junior prefects, and Kevin pointed one of them out to me and said: 'This guy is very good in his work.'
"The junior prefects feel very encouraged when I tell them this, and this is how Kevin often affirms his teammates."
Kevin sees his actions simply as a chance for him to give back.
The Year 5 student is already looking forward to next year's inter-school swimming championships.
"It's going to be my sixth and final year representing my school," said Kevin, who clocked a new personal best of 26.85 seconds at last month's Fina World Junior Swimming Championships here.
"I hope to be able to lead the school to a third consecutive grand slam (of A, B and C division titles), and keep the AC tradition of swimming burning."
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