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Talent Development (2013)

1. Anastasia Mary Chieng Zhi Wei, 9 - Aspiring Electonist

Bubbly Anastasia started electone classes four years ago at a nearby Community Centre, and she looks forward to her weekly lessons. While she may feel tired after hours of practice, Anastasia’s passion for music is reinforced by the sense of achievement that comes with mastering a song. Not only does she love learning new songs, Anastasia finds great joy in performing for her family and friends. Her loved ones thoroughly enjoy her enthusiastic performances and they are all excited for her first ever TDF performance. Anastasia hopes to become an electone teacher when she is older because music makes her happy and she wishes to inspire others as well.

“My motto – practice makes perfect!”

2. Carey Goh Jun Yi, 11 - Aspiring Artist

Since the tender age of seven, Carey has been attending art classes at NAFA Junior Arts. He loves drawing mythical creatures, birds and wolves. Cheerful Carey always has his trusty sketchbook by his side as he knows inspiration may strike him anywhere, anytime! Before he starts drawing, Carey will put in tremendous effort and energy into thinking and planning his artwork. He also tries his best to include as much detail as possible to complete each masterpiece. To Carey, drawing helps to him to lift his spirits up whenever he feels stressed out.

“Drawing allows me to be super creative as I am able to let my imagination to flow freely!”

3. Chow Shi An, 11 - Aspiring Swimmer

Shi An started learning how to swim five years ago at AWWA, and has been attending weekly lessons since. Little did he know, he would fall in love with the sport and win medals from various swimming competitions! Over the years, Shi An has experienced the amazing benefits of swimming; the sport not only strengthens his muscles, but also gives him an immense self-confidence boost! Shi An feels proud of his swimming achievements and the medals he has won thus far are a great encouragement to him. He is confident of his swimming ability and hopes to become a great swimmer one day!

4. Christabelle Marie Ng, 16 - Aspiring Pianist

Fourth-time Recipient. Christabelle is extremely motivated and delighted to be receiving the Talent Development grant for the fourth year running. Every year, she looks forward to applying for the grant and receiving the award and recognition. This award not only boosts her confidence, it also helps to spur Christabelle to further her passion for piano. Although at times Christabelle may feel overwhelmed by her medical condition, the thought of her past achievements motivates her to want to do even better than before. Regardless of the outcome, Christabelle strongly believes that as long as she takes things one step at a time, she can and will accomplish her goals.

“Staying positive is my personal motto. I will keep practicing and work hard to make my dreams a reality!”

5. Er Wen Hao, 18 - Aspiring Athlete

Third-time Recipient. Swimming has greatly helped Wen Hao improve his gross motor co-ordination and low muscle tone since he started swimming almost fourteen years ago. While swimming has been a big part of his life, he recently joined the Special Olympic Outreach, an organisation run by volunteer Track and Field coaches, last July. Currently, Wen Hao trains twice a week at Bishan Stadium. He has participated in running events like NTU Surf and Turf and the Special Olympics 2013. Now a high support athlete, Wen Hao’s parents hope that he will be able to run and improve his timings for each trial run.

“My dream is to see Wen Hao running independently like a champion.” – Catherine, Wen Hao’s mother

6. Goh Jia Yun, 14 - Aspiring Pianist

With a keen interest in classical music, Jia Yun decided to take up piano lessons three years ago. She enjoys listening to classical music in her free time because of its soothing effects. Jia Yun thoroughly enjoys her weekly piano classes as they are fun and interesting. Unsurprisingly, musicality runs in the family – at home, she is encouraged and guided by two older brothers who also play the piano. Together with her brothers, Jia Yun always has a blast when they experiment and bond over music.

“Music makes me really happy – it’s an indescribable feeling!”

7. James Lau Sijie, 17 - Aspiring Drummer

Third-time Recipient. Inspired by friends from church, James started drumming in 2009. Since then, he has been playing for church services every alternate week. In his free time, James loves drumming to Japanese Pop/Rock tunes and his favourite band is Janne Da Arc. James’ drumming teacher describes him as an inspiring and extremely self-motivated individual, who is also a quick learner and is always willing to try and experiment drumming grooves. He hopes to do well for his upcoming Grade 5 drumming exam. 

“I enjoy performing as it gives me such an adrenaline rush! I would love the chance to perform more at school events or external events.” 

8. Joanna Yee Zi Mun, 21 - Aspiring Ballerina

Fourth-time Recipient. Joanna has been learning ballet since the age of six. To Joanna, ballet has transformed from a fun hobby to a channel for creative expression, to a potential career prospect. The arduous ballet training has taught her perseverance, while juggling dance lessons, performances and schoolwork taught her how to prioritize and manage her time. Understanding that everyone has different bone structures and that no one brand of pointe shoe can ever fit all ballerinas has allowed Joanna to appreciate that everyone is unique. Joanna’s drive to gun for the yearly TDF award has also made her realize the value of what has been given to her.

“It is my dream to share the beauty of ballet with other children, specifically by using dance and art as a form of therapy to touch the lives of others.”

9. Jonathan Tan Shao Em, 14 - Aspiring Rugby Player

Second-time Recipient. Jonathan was first introduced to rugby by his uncle and has been playing for more than a year at the Singapore Cricket Club. Having made vast improvements since he received his first TDF award last year, Jonathan has been promoted from Vice-Captain to Captain of the Under-14 team. He enjoys playing ruby because he likes learning new techniques, and the exercise improves his fitness, builds up his stamina so he can defend and be able to block opponents who are bigger than him! What he loves most is the immense camaraderie of the team sport, overcoming the challenge of taking on opponents stronger and bigger than him, and the adrenaline rush of scoring a goal.

“I hope to play rugby professionally in the future and represent Singapore in international ruby matches!”

10. June Ong Xu Hui - Aspiring Pianist

Third-time Recipient. Inspired by her mum’s love for classical music, June started learning to play the piano when she was in lower Primary. June enjoys playing soothing, emotive classical tunes on the piano as it helps her to relieve stress and wind down after a long day at school. Her all-time favourite composers are Chopin and Beethoven. An all-rounder in school, June excels not only in her academic work but also in music and art. She is currently working hard to prepare for her Grade Four piano exam in July.

11. Keven Chua Ming Jun, 13 - Aspiring Keyboardist

Second-time Recipient. With his immense interest in music, Keven’s love for the keyboard began in 2011 when his mom suggested that he learn to play a musical instrument. Keven looks forward to his weekly keyboard lessons and is always enthusiastic in his approach to learn something new. He enjoys expressing himself freely and will take the opportunity to inject different feelings into his music whenever he plays. Lively Keven is able to appreciate and relate to the type of music he plays – whether it is happy or sad. He is excited to perform one of his favourite songs – Beethoven’s Ode to Joy,

“I feel relaxed whenever my fingers dance on the keyboard.”

12. Kieran Brunkard, 13 - Aspiring Graphic Designer

Second-time Recipient. Kieran enjoys using various computer software such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop to create his creative masterpieces. These software provide him with more flexibility than what he can design with using pen and paper. Kieran’s design skills have improved tremendously under the weekly tutelage of a Computer Graphics Teacher. As perfectionist at heart, he enjoys creating cute cartoon characters and hopes to pick up animation skills to make them come to life! Armed with this knowledge and skills, Kieran hopes pursue a career as an animator or graphic designer when he finishes school.

“I am overjoyed to receive the TDF grant as it allows me to pursue my dreams as a graphics designer!”

 13. Kynan Zeke Porter-Bhassi, 11 - Aspiring Artist

Drawing and painting animals and landscapes is what Kynan enjoys the most. He often uses acrylic paints and oil pastels create his artwork. Besides injecting his creativity into his drawings and paintings, Kynan also likes to invent 3D objects such as swords, bows and arrows, cars and airplanes from recycled materials such as wood and cards. He even made it possible to shoot the bows and arrows! Kynan will work extra hard to build up a portfolio so that he can enroll in a Secondary School Arts Programme.

“I hope to be an artist or a designer one day. That would be so cool!”

14. Lim Xiao Wei, 14 - Aspiring Pianist

Inspired by her friends’ performance in school, Xiao Wei decided to take up formal piano lessons when she was nine years old. Since young, music has always been a channel for Xiao Wei to express her feelings. This aspiring pianist always feels relaxed whenever she sits by her piano and plays a song. Learning to play the piano has taught her self-discipline and constant perseverance. Xiao Wei feels a great sense of accomplishment every time she masters a new song, and this motivates her to play even better. Xiao Wei is determined to develop her skills and achieve a Grade 8 certification in piano so she can become a piano teacher someday.

15. Low Ying Han, 17 - Aspiring Artist

Second-time Recipient. Ying Han enjoys drawing people, animals, nature and buildings. On some days, he gets thoroughly absorbed in drawing and painting and creates up to five different art pieces! Whenever he draws, Ying Han feels happy and relaxed. He uses art as a channel to express his thoughts and feelings, and his aim is to bring joy and happiness to the people around him. Ying Han currently attends weekly art classes at Very Special Arts Singapore and is always thrilled to learn new techniques. Over the past few years, Ying Han’s masterpieces have been displayed at several Club Rainbow ARTitude Exhibitions and one of his works was presented as a token of appreciation to the Singapore Turf Club in 2012.

“My daddy and mommy are my greatest inspiration!”

16. Ng Sze Ying, 14 - Aspiring Judoka

Sze Ying started Judo training as part of her school CCA last year, and she is now an orange belt Judoka. Although training is often tiring, Sze Ying feels determined during training and it has taught her perseverance. What Sze Ying enjoys most about Judo are her close friendships with her fellow Judokas at school. As the team suffers together, sweats together, wins and loses together, cries and laughs together, they form valuable friendships and support each other throughout their journey as a Judoka member.

“I am determined to work hard so I can get my black belt by the time I turn 18!”

17. Nicholas Heng Zhe Kai, 9 - Aspiring Swimmer

Nicholas started swimming this year at AWWA. His favourite stroke is backstroke and he feels on top of the world whenever he is in the pool. To Nicholas, swimming is second nature and he revels in the freedom and lightness of movement in the water. Nicholas enjoys the friendly competition amongst his friends during weekly swimming lessons. Swimming not only builds up his muscles and stamina, it also allows Nicholas to learn many new skills and make new friends.

“Although I may swim slower than some of my friends, I’ll never give up and I’ll continue to swim my best!”

18. Pristine Lim, 8 - Aspiring Ballerina

Little ballerina, Pristine, started learning ballet just last year as she has always loved dancing since young. Pristine is currently attending ballet classes at Sylvia McCully School of Dancing and is will soon enrol for a Grade One exam under the Royal Academy of Dance. Pristine is at her happiest and feels most inspired whenever she is dancing. She enjoys ballet lessons because she is able to learn new techniques and movements, and appreciate the accompanying music. Apart from ballet, Pristine hopes to immerse herself in other dance forms and become a great dancer when she grows up!

19. Rachel Isabelle, 14 - Aspiring Dancer

Second-time Recipient. Rachel started dancing at the age of six. When she first started out, Rachel only knew basic dance moves, but soon, she found herself interested in learning a wide range of dances forms such as Bollywood, Hip Hop, Jazz and Latin. Rachel also has experience in classical Indian dance which she learnt in school. On top of attending dance classes, Rachel is also inspired by dance videos which she watches online. A natural performer, Rachel feels honoured each time her friends and relatives invite her to dance at their private functions.

“Dancing always makes me feel alive! It makes me hyper and happy as it helps me to de-stress.”

20. S. Hema Viganeshwari, 16 - Aspiring Bharatanatyam Dancer

Fourth-time Recipient. At the tender age of six, Hema started learning Bharatanatyam dance at SIFAS, and is now an eighth year dance student. Under the guidance of Guru Swaroopa Das, she achieved an ‘A’ grade for all her dance examinations and was given the “Best Student Award” for Bharatanatyam in 2009. An engaging performer, she has impressed many at various Community Club, temple and Club Rainbow events, and had the rare opportunity to perform at Madras University in Chennai. Hema describes her golden moment to be her performance at an event graced by former President, Mr S.R. Nathan in 2009.

“Dance equals freedom – the freedom to move my body and put all my energy into an art form which I love deeply.”

21. Sai Shivani, 10 - Aspiring Artist

Shivani started exploring drawing and painting when she was four years old. Bursting with creativity, she loves to draw imaginary pictures. This aspiring artist is extremely happy to receive the TDF grant for the first time and intends to use the grant to attend regular art classes to improve her skills and learn new techniques. Shivani is no stranger to Club Rainbow’s annual ARTitude Exhibitions and she hopes to become a great artist in Singapore one day as she would love to share her artwork with everyone!

“My daddy is my biggest fan; he displays all my masterpieces in his office!”

22. Samuel Lim Ghee Hong, 15 - Aspiring Pianist

Third-time Recipient. Playing the piano has been his passion for as long as Samuel can remember. Music is also a big part of his family as they share a common bond through the appreciation of music. Samuel likes how he is able to express his emotions through music, and he uses the piano and its 88 keys to express himself. Whenever he feels angry, music helps to calm him down; and whenever he is feeling upset, music cheers him up instantly. Through the course of his piano lessons, he has learnt that there is no one correct way of playing the piano as long as the pianist is able to express his thoughts and emotions.

“Pianism is a unique art form in its own ways and I hope I can continue to inspire others and spread my passion for music.”

23. Samuel Lim Hong Xiang, 14 - Aspiring Musician

Fifth-time Recipient. Samuel was only 8 years old when he was first awarded the TDF grant. Every year, the TDF award has motivated him to do even better, and it has been his goal to work hard to develop his skills at piano and guzheng. During his free time, Samuel will search for new songs to learn over the internet and share them with his two younger siblings. The three siblings always have a great time exploring and mastering the new song together. A gifted musician, Samuel loves performing for others and is always eager to master a new song for every performance opportunity. No stranger to the stage, Samuel has performed on the piano at various Club Rainbow events. However, for the first time, he will perform an instrumental piece on the guzheng.

“Thank you Club Rainbow for building my confidence in such a special way.”

24. Soh Jia Wen, 15 - Aspiring Wushu Martial Artist

This is Jia Wen’s first time receiving the TDF grant. Jia Wen started learning Wushu in early 2012, training four times a week. Wushu is a popular martial arts practiced by many, ranging from the young to old. Initially, Jia Wen thought Wushu was not her cup of tea as the arduous training and strict coaches did not appeal to her. However, the fruits of her labour after all the intense training paid off and tasted so sweet that it inspired her pursue her passion. Jia Wen hopes that after a year of training, she will be able to participate in competitions and pit her skills with others.

“This funding will help propel me closer to my dreams, an inch at a time.”

25. Umi Amira Binte Amir, 17 - Aspiring Fashion Designer

Amira has been into fashion designing for a year now. She was inspired by the concept of being able to build a brand base and using that brand to interact with consumers. Amira’s design inspirations come from nature and her surroundings. She loves to design practical clothes that fit her clients’ lifestyles and feels a great sense of accomplishment when she is able to create a garment that allows people to express themselves and feel good in what they are wearing.

“I dream of becoming a successful fashion designer one day and this funding will allow me to pursue that dream.”

26. Xavier Tan Jun Hui, 12 - Aspiring Swimmer

Second-time Recipient. Xavier loves swimming and has been enrolled in a swimming course for the past two years. Although he has learnt many different swimming strokes, Xavier’s favourite stroke is freestyle. He is excited to attend his Sunday swimming lessons as he also enjoys going diving. Being able to dive deep into the pool makes Xavier feel calm and relaxed. He intends to take up water polo training once he has mastered swimming techniques. Xavier will strive hard to attain his goal of becoming an awesome and fearless water polo player.

“The pool is a place where I can always have fun and swim freely like a fish!”

Earlier Event: June 7
Camp Rainbow (2013)
Later Event: September 7
Caregivers' Appreciation Day (2013)