Kieran Goh

Starting young

Article from the Sun daily by Azizul Rahman Ismail (posted on 27 September 2018)

FOR most children, being passionate about a single sport is good enough. But, Kieran Goh decided to take up three — swimming, cycling, and running — and joined his first triathlon last year at age 12.

Kieran got his love of sports from his mother, who also inspired his passion for poetry, encouraging him to perform in open mic sessions. He is also into comics, thanks to his dad.

This homeschooled boy also enjoys playing computer games and tabletop games. Kieran, now 13, also hopes to be able to work in game development, creating both video games and tabletop games one day.

What is a triathlete?

"A Triathlete is someone who partakes in Triathlons, an endurance event that combines swimming, cycling, and running. Participants will have to swim a certain distance, cycle a certain distance, and run a certain distance, all in one leg.

"I don't know if it is an expensive sport, you have to ask my mum that. But, all you need are the essential equipment like goggles, a bicycle, and shoes.

"It was very challenging, especially when I did it the first time. But, it gets easier the more you do it, and with training."

How did your interest in sports begin?

"When I was a kid, I used to love playing and doing physical activities. It also has something to do with my family. My mother, Angelia Ong, was a swimmer.

"When I was [young], I started attending these sports events with her. She really inspired me to keep trying new things. It also gave me an excuse to stay fit and maintain my health.

"Following my mother also kind of gave me an opportunity to [join] fun runs and swimming competitions. From that, I started joining aquathlons, triathlons and open water swimming."

When was your first triathlon event and how many have you attended since?

"I joined my first triathlon on October 22, 2017. But, I participated in my first sports event in 2016 with the MPI Generali Run. Since then I joined several other events like PowerKIDS, Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Spartan Kids Race, Putrajaya Aquathlon, and the Putrajaya Perdana Triathlon.

"I did my first open water swimming event, the Port Dickson OWS, right after I did my first triathlon. The latest event I did was the Port Dickson International Triathlon 2018."

What are your other interests?

"I've always loved playing video games and trading card games. Currently, I play CS Go on the PC and Warframe of the PlayStation4. I also used to play a lot of trading card games, but now I only play Magic: The Gathering.

"I used to write and recite poetry a lot as well. But I rarely do it anymore. I used to go to a monthly event called If Walls Could Talk to recite poetry with my mother.

"I also just got my red belt in Taekwondo recently. It took me a long time to get the belt because I went on a break.

"Thanks to my dad, Sheldon Goh, who is a comic artist and always surrounds himself with comics, I got into comics as well. I used to draw a lot too."

Where do you find time to do it all?

"My mum sections out and schedules my time for study and I use the rest of the time for my hobby, interests, and training. Sometimes, I use the time that I would otherwise use for playing video games to hang out with my friends instead.

"I've been homeschooled since I was 8, right after standard one. People think that homeschooling is laid back, but in fact, you could learn a lot more, and you have the flexibility to learn more than they teach in school.

"Right now I am preparing for my upcoming IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams.

Who are your heroes?

"My parents have been my number one heroes since the beginning, they have supported me throughout each event and haven't left my side. They are one of the main reasons I keep going.

"Another one of my heroes is my coach, Shamsul Kamal. He is my science and math teacher and also my coach and trainers. He helped push me through my boundaries and taught me things that would help me when I join any sports events.

"One of my mentors was also Evelyn Ang-loo, who sadly passed this year after a tragic accident at a sporting event December last year. She always encouraged me to keep up at my sports activities and was always an active cheerleader at the races we participated in, including helping me enter my very first duathlon, the Powerkids.

"Auntie Evie took an interest in my training, even discussing it with my mum and Uncle Sham about the best strategy to approach it or what was needed to help me get past any hurdles. I have always felt very lucky to have such mentors in my life."

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