Dream comes true for Singapore debutante Nasha Jeffri at Women’s World Floorball Championship

SINGAPORE – When she was a schoolgirl, Nasha Jeffri would stay up past midnight to watch the national team’s games at the Women’s World Floorball Championship (WFC).

From Dec 2 to 10, this ardent fan will move from the sidelines to the thick of the action when she makes her dream debut at the 2023 edition at the OCBC Arena.

The 20-year-old, who is reading sports science and management at the Nanyang Technological University, is among eight debutantes in the Republic’s 20-member squad who are gunning for honours at the biennial event.

Nasha said: “It means a lot to me. Last time I used to watch them play on YouTube live with my dad and friends. Now being chosen to play and on home ground is impressive and so scary, but I’m excited for it.

“I just hope I won’t be so nervous to the point I can’t perform because I’ve been putting in the hard work already, so I hope I can perform to the best of my abilities.”

While she will be making her championship bow, the forward noted that her first outing with the senior team at May’s Cambodia SEA Games, where Singapore claimed their third consecutive women’s title, has taken some pressure off her.

Nasha, who has been playing floorball since she was nine, admitted that stepping up from the national Under-19 team to the senior side took some adjustment.

She noted that there was not much emphasis on fitness with the U-19s as compared to the senior team, who focus on strength and conditioning a lot more with the game being quicker and more physical.

She said: “In the national team they’re so much more skilful and their passes are so much more accurate, so you definitely have to match up to them and meet their expectations to be able to work together as a line.

“It was a lot more stressful, a lot more pressure, a lot more tasks you have to do. But with the help of my teammates – they gave me feedback and advice on how to improve – and just being around them constantly have helped me get to where I am now.”

National coach Lim Jin Quan praised Nasha for her work ethic, saying: “She’s very skilled in terms of her ability and speed, and she’s a hard worker.

“Her willingness to learn is there although she is a bit nervous and not confident sometimes because… age is something that bothers her a bit. But her willingness to push through despite the challenges will probably bear good performances coming into this WFC.”

Another player relishing the chance to test herself on floorball’s biggest stage is former U-19 captain Lim Jie Ying, who picked up the sport when she was in Primary 5.

The defender, 20, said: “I look forward to playing against stronger opponents and learning how to play floorball at a higher level while enjoying it.”

dream comes true for singapore debutante nasha jeffri at women’s world floorball championship

Another player relishing the chance to test herself on floorball’s biggest stage is former U-19 captain Lim Jie Ying. PHOTO: LEANDRO NGO

Jin Quan noted that preparations for world No. 13 Singapore, who have been drawn into Group C with world No. 9 Germany, Australia (11) and world championship debutantes France (27), have been going well and they aim to match or improve on their best finish of 12th in the 16-team tournament.

To help younger and less experienced players ease into the team, the Singapore Floorball Association arranged for a series of workshops on topics like psychology, goal-setting and nutrition in October to educate them on the different aspects of high-performance sport.

The team also had a training camp with world No. 1 Sweden in May and another one in Australia in early November.

They have also been playing friendlies with former and current national male players to prepare themselves for their European opponents, who boast larger physiques.

Jin Quan said: “I reminded the players that they’ve worked hard to get to where they are, they’ve made all the sacrifices because they wanted to be part of this team who are playing in front of a home crowd.

“I hope that’s something that’s an anchor that keeps them going.”

Visit https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/wfc2023 to purchase tickets to the Women’s World Floorball Championship 2023.

Women’s World Floorball Championship

Singapore’s Group C matches all at 8pm, OCBC Arena

Dec 2 – v FranceDec 3 – v Australia
Dec 5 – v Germany

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