Everyone is able to accomplish big things beyond what we can imagine.

I started playing tennis at the age of 19, and had a dream to play the Women Tennis Association (WTA), but was only greeted by naysayers. Many deemed that I was too old to start a career in professional tennis.

I was born into a large family with a humble background, there was limited funding and support from my family and I had to pave my own way to pursue my dream. For a decade, I worked multiple jobs and bartered for training set ups wherever I could get them. I spent time in a Spanish Tennis academy where I bartered working 12-15 hour shifts for training. Back then, home was a shoebox size space with no heater during winter and I was drinking tap water in order to ration my 200 euros allowance. I went through with the arrangement so that I could sustain my training and lessons in an acclaimed training academy.

In 2015, I became the first local athlete to use crowdfunding to raise support to go pro and break into the WTA rankings as a Singaporean tennis player. One of the reasons why I chose to crowdfund was to engage fellow Singaporeans on this very personal journey that I strongly believe in. I truly believe that this is a cause greater than myself and I would like to make my country proud with my achievements. With crowdfunding, I am able bring everyone’s token of support to the battlefield, and in turn, each match result will mean that much more to me.

Next year is going to be an exciting year for me as I begin working with my new coach Vasileios Psyrras. He has trained some of the best WTA players, including the likes of Vera Zvonareva, Ai Sugiyama, Janette Husarova and Meng Yuan, as well as Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic who went on to be world number 1s.

I am elated to have Vasileios come on board to join my journey to achieving my WTA ranking, and more. Working with him over the past few months has seen me play some of the best tennis of my life and has given me newfound confidence. It’s a huge compliment that someone as experienced as Vasileios sees my potential and wants to help me unlock it.

Fuelled by a dream, and coupled with grit, effort and sheer willpower, I believe that everyone is able to discover the potential to accomplish big things beyond what we can imagine. I am truly grateful to the people who have stood by me, supported me, and believed in me when the journey seemed almost impossible to go on. I also thank God for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing on the Women’s Pro Circuit.
Sarah Pang