Netballer Aqilah Andin retires from national team after 12 years, 101 games for Singapore, Latest Team Singapore News - The New Paper
Team Singapore

Netballer Aqilah Andin retires from national team after 12 years, 101 games for Singapore

There were no tears for Aqilah Andin as she stepped away from the court on Feb 18, bringing the curtain down on a 12-year career with the national netball team.

Instead, the Singapore vice-captain was all smiles as she closed out her international career in her team’s 70-32 victory over Malaysia in the last of a three-match Test Series between the Causeway rivals at Our Tampines Hub.

“This is a happy moment for me. Of course, I will miss the game very much because this is my passion but life needs me and it’s where I belong for now. I just feel very relieved and happy,” said Aqilah, who retires with 101 international caps.

“I’m just very grateful for the 12 years in the national programme, for everything that I went through and the opportunities that I was given, and for all the great memories on and off court.”

Aqilah will have more than just memories to take away from her final game after her teammates presented her with a Lego figure of herself after the match.

The 27-year-old was also lifted in the air by her teammates and presented with flowers by Netball Singapore chief executive Cyrus Medora as well as her two-year-old son Qaif Medrie, before she delivered a farewell speech.

It was a perfect end to a career that began in 2012 when then 16-year-old Aqilah became the youngest player to represent the national team.

Aqilah, who holds a business professional role in a law firm, said: “I planned to hit my 100th cap and retire because when I got married, there were a lot of things that I needed to consider.

“Having the opportunity to do this after giving birth is a big opportunity for me but I don’t think I can do this for much longer because the commitment is a bit crazy, there are many things on my plate.”

At the beginning, the defender was not sure how long she would be in the team. While she enjoyed some success – the 2014 Asian championship gold, silvers at the 2017 and 2019 SEA Games, and the 2023 Nations Cup title are among her accolades – she also had to overcome adversities and deal with injuries.

But these experiences helped shape her character. Aqilah credited netball for making her more resilient. She said: “I doubted myself a lot in my life but sport makes you very strong internally so that kind of helped me push through life.

“Even when things get very hectic like now when I have to juggle many things and my son throws a tantrum, I can actually keep myself quite calm so I’ve been able to use what I’ve learnt in sport in my daily life.”

While she also has an impressive collection of medals, one of the highlights of her career was making her way back on court in December 2022, about half a year after the birth of Qaif.

Aqilah said: “I didn’t think I could do it, I was just trying to get into the routine while juggling work, motherhood, trying to train yourself again to get back into the routine so that was quite a big achievement.”