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From wushu to
touch rugby, Natalie has always been a sporty girl. A newly graduate from Hwa
Chong institution she also has her brains to back her up. However, making the
jump and decision from a solo fighting sport to a team sport was not easy for
her.

 

She’s a lean,
mean, killing machine. Competing in wushu since she was 9, she’d probably be
able to kick your ass in her sleep. At 19, Natalie Ong has not only competed in
many local yearly interschool competitions but she’s even stepped on the
international stage, competing in the Huangshan world wushu championships and
the Asean school games in 2014. Accepted in one of Singapore’s top secondary
schools, Nanyang Girls high school using her skills in wushu through the direct
school admission and most recently just graduated from Hua Chong Institution,
Natalie is an all-rounder.

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Wushu fighter
or touch rugby player, Natalie had to make a choice. Conflicted because of her
injuries from wushu and a spiked interest in trying team sports, she had a huge
decision to make.

 

“Training was a
lot about having the discipline and mental strength because at times, it gets
really tough.” Natalie said. Her trainings often lasted a good five hours and
would often leave her body feeling sore and tired, but Natalie never gave up
and pushed through even the most hectic trainings. “She’s always been very
resilient” said Shameelia, Natalie’s friend from wushu, “That’s something I
really admire about her.”

 

Being so
involved in wushu, it came as a shock when she had a change of heart. “I
stopped wushu because I wanted to get a sense of a team sport and also because
of past injuries” Said the Hua Chong student.

 

Introduced to
touch rugby through her wushu mates who’d also left the sport. She spent her
holidays joining them during their open trainings. “I like touch rugby because
of the warm and friendly ambience. Touch rugby is played by people of all ages,
some starting at the age of six to seven and some playing till they are forty
to fifty, and of all races as well.” Said the newly graduate. “It is a sport
that brings people with different backgrounds together and I like that a lot”

 

In contrast,
these two sports are very different, with one focusing more on fighting solo,
the fundamentals of touch rugby is team play. Instead of fighting in martial
arts, touch rugby is a much less contact sport, which reduces the chances of
injuries during the game. This made touch rugby seem like a perfect fit for
Natalie.

 

From just
joining some friends playing touch rugby during her holidays, to deciding to
take the sport seriously, it was a huge jump for Natalie. Doing a solo sport
for so long, transitioning to a sport with more interaction and teammates was
foreign ground to her. “it’s about having ultimate trust in your teammates and
having all of your attention diverted to scoring the winning try. It should be
about finding the ‘in-zone” whereby you can block out all distractions and
focus on your passes, drives and runs, leaving everything on the field.”

 

Pressure often
runs high during competitions, especially for a ‘newbe’ in the sport, but
Natalie didn’t shy away from competing. She trained hard to be just as good as
her teammates and formed close friendships with them. Through this strong
support system of her team, coaches and family, she competed in many crucial
matches and big competitions in Singapore.

 

An ‘A’ student,
juggling school life and sports was never a struggle for this 19-year old
all-rounder. Ensuring that her trainings never clashed with her classes, she
always makes sure to finish all her work before her trainings. Even when her
schedule is crazy, prioritising work has always been important to her.

 

In the uncommon
instances that she has free time, Natalie enjoys spending it with her family.
“It’s always so hectic for me so I just like time to myself and my family to
unwind and just relax.” She said.

 

Being a social
butterfly, Natalie also has many friends from school, wushu and touch rugby.
She shares many of these moments of competing and just hanging out with her
friends on social media. With a following of 2,108, she’s also an avid social
media user.

 

While the
journey to the switch from wushu to touch rugby hasn’t been easy, Natalie says
that she’s glad that she did it.

 

“Wushu will
always be a huge part of me because of how hard I trained and because of the
friendships.” She said. “I still think about wushu at times but I am glad that
I made the decision to go on to touch rugby because it is something I have
grown to love.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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