Hockey or NS?
Having to choose between training for a sport and serving NS is something that many Singaporean sportsmen face, including Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC).
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the former national hockey player shared how he was offered the chance to play for the SAF Sports Association during NS when he enlisted as a 19-year-old nearly 30 years ago.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament said he declined the offer, and later joined the 163 Squadron in the air force where he served as an air defence artillery officer operating missile defence systems.
“I resumed playing hockey for Singapore after I concluded NS and continued with the beautiful sport up to the age of 30. Just like in NS, I made many lifelong friends on the hockey pitch,” he said.
“But the principle in my mind has never changed – defence of Singapore first, sport second. I would decide the same way all over again – in NS, it is soldier first; sport can wait.”