|The Talented Swimmer - Jennifer Ng|
"Quick-witted." "Intelligent." "Absorbed." "Impatient." "Careless." These were the comments given by Jennifer's mother during the course of this interview.
Jennifer has studied in DGJS and DGS for ten years. She has a brother and a sister. In August 2001, Jennifer left Hong Kong for Canada with her family to continue her studies and swim training in that other part of the world. We spoke to her mother about her daughter's DGS experience.
Jennifer was an active student in DGS. Having spent one-third of her time at school in the last decade, Jennifer regarded school as her second home. She was proud to be part of school and her mother says she was particularly fortunate to have studied with schoolmates that she loved (and always will), and with whom she was able to share her joy, happiness - and occasionally - her sadness. She enjoyed her school life very much and was particularly active in extra-curricular activities. Aside from the swim team, Jennifer was a member of the life-saving team, school orchestra, school choir and western instrumental class.
Outside school, swimming became one of the most important features of her life. When Jennifer’s mother took her for her first "swim" when she was only six months old, and it was seeing her floating technique as a baby that her mother immediately realized that her daughter might have special talent in swimming. When Jennifer was two years old, she could already dive confidently into the water, and at the age of four she attended her first swimming lesson at the Jockey Club. Her coach, Mr. David Man, was amazed to find a girl so young able to grasp well all four swimming strokes within a few lessons was a rare talent, according to the coach's record. Jennifer first made her mark in swimming with a gold medal in breast stroke at the Jockey Club Swimming Gala when she was six years old. Two years later, she started formal swim training. In spite of the tough regime and frequent competition, Jennifer still managed to excel academically at school. To achieve this, the support from Jennifer's parents, swimming coach and classmates cannot be underestimated, and Jennifer still feels extremely grateful to every one of them.
Although she also participated in other sports, Jennifer found swimming to be her special talent. Her mother said that swimming was special to Jennifer. Simply floating effortlessly in the water provided her with a feeling that no land sport could give her. And through swimming, she learned the key qualities of determination and persistence. Swimming also gave her a lot of unforgettable experiences. In fact the most unforgettable of all was a disqualification in her first public competition, a 50 meters backstroke. She recalled that she trained extremely hard for the event with the anticipation of winning a gold medal. Upon finishing her swim, she was told by one of the judges that she had touched a lane separator. This was prohibited and she was disqualified. She was shocked and saddened when she heard this and says she will never forget it.
But her most memorable experience followed the disqualification of an opponent team. In May 2001, Jennifer and three other Hong Kong swimmers raced in the medley relay of the East Asian Games in Japan against top international competition. Initially, they aimed simply at breaking the Hong Kong record. To their surprise, bronze medallists Japan were disqualified, and Hong Kong were elevated from fourth to third - and won the bronze medals. Not only that, their record was improved by 3 seconds.
But Jennifer is otherwise a very typical Hong Kong girl. When asked what other interests she pursued besides school activities and swimming, she said she relaxed just like any other girl of her age - watching movies or TV, and of course shopping!
As to the future, Jennifer sees swimming as an extension of her life, rather than her future. Her long-term goal is to follow the path of so many former DGS girls, and return to Hong Kong to pursue a career as an administrative officer in the SAR government.
This article was written by Michelle Seto, Crystal Chiu and Mandy Wong, girls in Form V of DGS, as a farewell gift to their best friend and classmate Jennifer Ng.