We can all agree that active participation in sports is not only beneficial for your physical health but also your mental well-being; it helps in character building and teaches you the importance of discipline, determination, and team spirit where no amount of motivational speech will ever provide. To have a mentally sound society, it’s important for kids to get involved in sports in general at a young age. Meet Bernice Lim, one of the many young kids who dabbled in sports, specifically, a Rhythmic Gymnastics under Carolyn’s School of Rhythmic Gymnastics (CSRG). At just the age of 11, Bernice has a taste of victory and defeat, but it was her spirit of excellence improve her skills is what kept her going stronger. Are you ready to get inspired?
1. Hi Bernice! Please tell us more about yourself.
2. How long you’ve been training as a rhythmic gymnast under Carolyn’s School of Rhythmic Gymnastics (CSRG)?
I have been training in CSRG since I was 7 years old. I started off in CSRG’s ‘Little Gymnast’ grade in Year 2013.
3. Can you explain to us what sparked your interest to dabble into this particular sport in the first place?
My mom brought me to Little Gymnast trial class in a rhythmic gymnastics school when I was 6 and I kind of like it because it feels like a fun thing to do with a group of friends. Little did I know I would pursue this sports further later on.
4. I believed that both you and I can agree that Carolyn is a very well-seasoned coach. Can you share with us your experience as a rhythmic gymnast under the guidance of Carolyn?
Yes I agreed fully. I started off as Little Gymnast with Ms Carolyn’s assistant coaches. On and off I would see Ms Carolyn training my fellow senior gymnasts in the school. My first impression of Ms Carolyn was that she was always very strict with gymnasts under her care and she meant business when it comes to bringing out the best of a gymnast, so much so that I kind of feared her strictness back then. The funny thing is, despite fear, I wished I could be trained by her. Lucky enough, I got an opportunity to be trained by her in Grade 1. I want to be honest that my initial experience training under her was kind of ‘terrifying’. She was sharp and almost no mistakes can escape her eyes. Obviously I got countless corrections from her in my journey to improve my skills and despite the stress, I was improving over time thanks to her sharpness, skillful guidance and dedication to keep pushing me harder for better performance. I am truly thankful to her for tirelessly nurturing all of us in CSRG to aim and achieve high.
5. On top of training for various competitions, how do you balance between school and other extra-curricular activities?
It was rather hard juggling between schools and sports. I skipped schools on and off for intensive trainings before competitions. It was stressful when I had to deal with piles of school homeworks after trainings and competitions but I have gotten a hang of it after some times. Now I could cope better between school and sports.
6. Tell us more about your recent experience at Shoin Cup 2018.
Shoin Cup 2018 was an awesome experience. It was my first ever trip to Japan and oversea competition. I met many rhythmic gymnasts from different countries such as Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Finland and New Zealand. We exchanged contacts and souvenirs. I made some mistakes during my performance and was ranked overall 4th in Pre-Junior Under 12 category. Obviously, I need to put in more effort to achieve higher consistency in my performance. After the competition, we managed to have some spare time to do site seeing around Osaka and have some awesome bonding time with our beloved coach Ms Carolyn. So overall, Shoin Cup was both a great exposure and memorable experience for me. I am looking forward to more exposure like Shoin Cup. In fact, I just enrolled myself to another competition in Singapore next month (June 2018) together with CSRG teammates. Ms Carolyn is working closely with us to bring out our best for the coming competition, so our fingers are crossed for a good result in Singapore Open.
7. Who is your all-time inspiration?
Two persons inspire me the most. They are Ms Carolyn of CSRG and Amy Kwan Dict Weng, the national rhythmic gymnast. I truly admire how they made Malaysia proud with their dedication and achievement.
8. Aside from rhythmic gymnastics, what do you enjoy doing during your leisure time?
Playing with my two hamsters ‘Hammo’ and ‘Tammo’! I love spending time petting them, they were truly fun to play with and have added loads of laughters to my life.
9. Of all the competitions and experiences that you’ve gained as a rhythmic gymnast, which is the most memorable one, and why.
I would say the recent Malaysia Schools Sports Council (MSSM) 2018 competition. Our team (Selangor) won Gold Medal in Team Category, I was ranked 3rd in Individual Overall, 3rd in Ball, 3rd in Ribbon and 4th in Freehand categories respectively. I am quite happy with my performance and improved consistency compared to other past competitions. Nevertheless, I believe I can do better and shall work harder towards higher rate of consistency.
10. How far do you see yourself as a rhythmic gymnast? Do you see yourself pursuing this sport professionally and perhaps representing Malaysia in the Olympics?
Frankly speaking, I do not know and of course I hope I could. My parents always emphasize that I ought to work hard for that is the only path to being good at anything I pursue in life and to give my very best each and every time I step onto the carpet, everything else are secondary. I keep these advice close at heart and let things develop naturally as I stay on my pursuit to find out how far I can go. I thank my parents for their endless love and support.
11. Any life mottos?
If you want something, go get it, period. – from the movie ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ starring Will and Jaden Smith.