SINGAPORE: National netballers Micky Lin and Charmaine Soh struck gold during the SEA Games, leading the team to the country's first-ever podium-topping position in the Games. On Saturday (Jun 27), the ladies were presented with handcrafted diamond earrings made specially for them as a show of appreciation.
The 1-carat earrings, from Caraters Diamonds, are worth S$5,000 a pair and they take, on average, 420 hours to craft.
Said Caraters CEO James Syddall: "It's a small gesture of goodwill because I want to encourage them. It's just showing our appreciation and support as a fellow Singaporean. That's all it should be about.
"Not much of netball has been in the news and most of it has been overshadowed by other sports, so it's about time we give a bit of recognition to the netballers because they work really hard," he added.
Netball Singapore CEO Cyrus Medora added that this recognition the two netballers are getting is "something very special" as they train hard with little acknowledgement of the efforts they put into the sport.
BACK TO WORK
Team captain Lin said they did not really know what was going on before the gift presentation, as they were told it was a client event.
"Of course, we were very happy to receive the earrings and hearing James speak as a Singaporean wanting to acknowledge our contribution, it was very sweet of him," she said.
Charmaine Soh showcasing the diamond earrings, which were designed to look like a ball entering the hoop. (Photo: Elizabeth Goh)
Soh added: "We're both very surprised because we weren't told about this. It's a very good motivation and encouragement for us because we worked very hard for it. Not only because of the gift, but how Singaporeans appreciate us and thank us for our work."
However, there is no time to bask in their achievements, as Lin said the team is back in training in preparation for the World Cup in August.
"We just started training this week, five times a week. We're trying looking to improve our game and ranking in the upcoming World Cup. What we focus on is to play our game well and score well. These sponsorships and gifts are a bonus for us," Soh added.
Mr Medora said the aim for the team is to be ranked about 14th in the world. It is currently positioned at 17th.