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Hester Paddles To Gold

Hester Ho, BA Psychology, Hester (left) and Yvonne Loh winning the gold in the K2 canoe sprint at the Inter-tertiary Canoeing Championship, March 2015
Hester (back) and Yvonne Loh winning the gold in the K2 canoe sprint at the Inter-tertiary Canoeing Championship, March 2015

SHE WANTS to compete in the Marathon, but only on water, not dry land. Hester Ho Jin Hui who won the top SIM sportswoman of 2015, is training to compete in the 2016 Singapore Canoe Marathon on January 17 next year. She will be in the K1 (kayak one person) category paddling a distance of 21km.

As vice-captain of the SIM Sprint Canoeing Club, Hester and the team took part in the recent Hong Kong Asia Canoeing Cup. “I won a bronze for the K1 500-m sprint,” she says.

Earlier in March 2015, during the Inter-tertiary Canoeing Championship at MacRitchie Reservoir, she won two team gold in the K2 (two people in the kayak) and K4 (four people in the kayak) categories.

She’s also in the National Developmental Team, a group of canoeists who is training hard to be selected for the National Team. “We train together with the national players and our goal is to paddle as fast, if not faster than them.”

Hester hopes to make it to the National Team in April, in time to compete at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in May 2016 in the Czech Republic.

In Canoe Sprint, competitors paddle as fast as possible over a set distance of 200m, 500m or 1,000m. The types of boats are the Canadian canoe (C), an open canoe with a single-blade paddle, and kayak (K), a closed canoe with a double-bladed paddle. Each canoe or kayak can hold one person (K-1), two people (K-2), or four people (K-4).

When a competition is listed as a K-2 500m event for example, it means two people are in a kayak rowing as fast as they can over 500m.

Training is time-consuming and demanding. “I’m training 10 sessions per week, of 2-3 hours per session. My schedule is Monday to Saturday, from 6.30-8.30am, and Monday to Saturday (except Wednesday) from 6.30-8.30pm,” she says. “Besides paddling, we also do weights and running as we need both strength and stamina.”

Hester, 22, is studying for her Bachelor in Psychology at the SIM-State University of New York at Buffalo. The knowledge she acquires on human behaviour would come handy when she applies to be a trainee inspector in the Singapore Police Force, she says.

She had previously applied to join the Police after graduating from polytechnic in 2012, but she learnt that with a Bachelor, her career advancement will be much better. “I’ve always aspired to join the Police Force,” she says. “I believe by pursuing my degree, it would aid me in my future career. I chose Psychology as my major so that I would be able to apply this knowledge in my future job.

“I also find the subject of human behaviour fascinating. Just the very first module on Introduction to Psychology has taught me so much. There were interesting facts about what why people behave in certain ways, and various motivations that drive them. I want to apply what I learnt in my future work.”

Hester’s other passions are playing volleyball and netball, and roller-blading. “I also find travelling enjoyable, particularly to places that are quiet and peaceful, away from all the hustle and bustle of modern living,” she adds.

– Posted December 21, 2015

Hester Ho, BA Psychology, Hester (back of kayak) and Yvonne Loh paddling their K2 to victory at the Inter-tertiary Canoeing Championship at MacRitchie Reservoir, in March 2015. They beat the NTU team by almost a full second.

Hester Ho, BA Psychology, Hester (back of kayak) and Yvonne Loh paddling their K2 to victory at the Inter-tertiary Canoeing Championship at MacRitchie Reservoir, in March 2015. They beat the NTU team by almost a full second.
Hester (back of kayak) and Yvonne Loh paddling their K2 to victory at the Inter-tertiary Canoeing Championship at MacRitchie Reservoir, in March 2015. They beat the NTU team by almost a full second.

Hester Ho, BA Psychology, SIM’s champion canoeists (Hester is third from right, back)
SIM’s champion canoeists (Hester is third from right, back)