Young Achievers: Nihal Hameed – A division Vice Captain

Testimonial from Nanfeng’s Student: Nihal Hameed

Coach Nan Feng has been my coach since the end of 2014 up till the end of the canoeing season of 2019. She has seen many batches of nearly 90 student-athletes per season and I am thankful that I have been one of the few who have had the privilege of being coached by Nan Feng.


Coach Nan Feng has always been a firm and fair coach who always enforces self-discipline among her students whenever she is on the water. This has made her training sessions on the water very efficient and effective for the bulk of her students. Nan Feng also spends a significant amount of time before training sessions to plan out various programmes for the day. One attribute that Nan Feng possesses, which I have not seen in other coaches, is her ability to portray herself as a competent leader who has earned her self-respect from all her students throughout the years of coaching. Nan Feng has spent the last five years re-crafting and re-inventing various coaching techniques not just to improve the quality of the team as a whole but also of the other students in the team, so that everyone improves their capacity contributing to the team. This shows that she wants to bring out the best in all of the 90 students in the team. Nan Feng also went out of the way outside of allocated coaching slots to coach the canoeing team 6 times a week during off-season and even up to 9 training sessions a week during the peak season. Nan Feng also offered other additional training programmes out of canoeing such as in swimming and rock-climbing to offer us the widest possible range of techniques to improve ourselves.  


Coach Nan Feng does not only give her students physical trainings but also renders a portion of her training to mental fortitude. This is the biggest take-away for me from the past five years under the guidance of Nan Feng. Nan Feng has taught me that mental fortitude is one attribute of a person that is heavily overlooked and that it can be the most important skill a person must have. All students who Nanfeng has coached have graduated from the team having acquired this trademark skill of our coach. More importantly, Nan Feng has taught us that mental strength is not only used in the context of the sport but also in any life situation (for example, academic pursuit or personal adversity). This one skill initiates the propagation of any basic attribute that any other coach would look to develop like discipline or time-management. This has made me a much stronger person than I was before meeting Nan Feng. 


Outside of the water, Coach Nan Feng also has an outstanding ability to connect with her students regardless of age, gender or personality. The bubbly nature of Nan Feng also plays a vital role in these interactions. Nan Feng makes sure that she does not only lead as a coach but also as a friend to each and every one of her students. This is another factor that differentiates Nan Feng from any other ordinary coach. This further develops the bond between her and her students enhancing the respect a student has for Nan Feng which in turn also makes training sessions with Nan Feng more effective. A simple lunch after training sessions may seem trivial or insignificant to any other coach. However, Nan Feng thinks otherwise and uses it as a good opportunity to get to know her students better just so that she can bring the best from each and every one of us.


The fact that Nan Feng ensures that she is not just a passing cloud in a person’s life makes Nan Feng stand out from the various coaches I have worked with over my time in sports since 2011. She is a responsible coach who shows great commitment in helping her students reach their maximum potential and also further inducing them into aiming even higher than that.


Nihal Hameed

National Junior College Canoeing Team

Class of 2019

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