In this series, we spotlight some of Shanghai's most aspiring athletes and ask them why playing sports is so important to them.
What sports do you play?
I play volleyball, basketball and football, but my favorites are basketball and volleyball. I have been playing sports for five years now.
What do you love most about them?
I love the feeling of being on the court with people that are just as passionate and put in the same amount of effort as I do. I love the competitiveness of the sport between schools and teams. I am passionate because of my teams, my coaches and our supporters. I also enjoy learning new skills, which can be used in each game.
What is your most memorable moment?
My most memorable moment is when I sustained a season ending injury last year. I couldn’t play for the rest of the season but I still went to every game to support my team. My team supported me through my whole journey, which showed that even though I couldn’t play I was still part of the team. My teammates aren’t just my teammates, they are my friends as well.
How do you balance your sports life with your school work, social life and other activities?
I’ll go to every practice and game, afterwards, I spend time on my homework and weekends are for my family and friends. My social life is also connected to my sports life, which makes it easy to socialize but also play sports at the same time. I make sure that I have time do to everything, and if not, I make time.
What do you find most challenging about sports?
The most challenging aspect of sports is when I learn new skills and try to use them in the game. There’s a chance that I could mess up or do something wrong so I want to keep doing the same thing because I know there’s less of a chance that I’ll do something wrong. It’s also challenging to play with different people. I’ve been playing with the same girls for years now so we know how to play together, but when new people join, it’s hard because we don’t have the chemistry yet.
What are the most important qualities of a good athlete?
Definitely their attitude and passion. If you have a good attitude, that is positive and uplifting, it makes sports more enjoyable for your teammates as well as yourself because you are helping one another get better at something you all enjoy. Also, there needs to be passion for you to want to put in the effort and the time to play.
What is your biggest success?
I have won MVP awards for volleyball and basketball, but I do not consider these awards my biggest success. Instead, my biggest success is playing on teams where everyone puts in the same amount of effort to achieve our goal.
Do you hope to pursue sports as a career in the future?
Even though being a professional athlete is a dream of mine, I don't think I will pursue this as a career. I am happy watching sports commentating on them, which is what I hope to do in the future.
Kim Kerremans is in grade 12 at Western International School of Shanghai.