PUAH Pei San has the unique distinction of returning to where she started — playing netball as a teacher and coach.
Since early this year, Pei San, who studied at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) from 1999 to 2003, has joined the school as a teacher and appointed its netball coach.
However, it was a peculiar situation when she reported at BJSS. Most of the netball players were her teammates and close friends.
“I have to admit that it was difficult but after some time, the players accepted me as one of the coaches. Being former teammates was also good and the players understand me better.
“They have been very cooperative during training and I am enjoying my stint as a coach, It is exciting and challenging. Being a former student of BJSS, I am comfortable with the system and I am enjoying it,’’ said Pei San.
Surprisingly, the 25-year-old Pei San, who hails from Klang, was not an active netball player until she joined BJSS in 1999. In fact, she was given the privilege after her sister Puah Pei Ling was selected to be part of the netball team at BJSS.
Until she joined BJSS, Pei San, as a pupil of SJKC Jalan Kapar in Klang, was active in basketball.
However, Pei San said she was encouraged to join the BJSS netball training programme.
“It was a challenge but I was willing to go through the training programme. Fortunately, I also had a good coach in Choo Kon Lee. She was very supportive and moulded me into an accomplished netball player,’’ said Pei San.
Soon she was playing in local age group competitions. She has been a regular for BJSS in the Malaysia - Singapore Under-17 series in 2000 and 2001. Malaysia were champions in the series for both seasons.
She made her international debut in the Asian Youth Under-21 championship in 2002. Despite being only 16, Pei San made her presence felt and helped Malaysia finish second in the competition.
However, in the subsequent Asian Youth 21 championship, played in Sri Lanka in 2004, Pei San was a member of the Malaysia team which emerged champions.
Pei San was also in the Malaysian team that finished 14th in the World Youth Under-21 championship in Florida, United States in 2005.
For Pei San, it was her most memorable outing as the 14th placing as the best Malaysia had achieved in the competition series.
Pei San was soon drafted into the Malaysian senior squad. She made her international debut, as a senior, in the Asian championship in 2005. The championship was played in Singapore and Malaysia ended runners-up.
Pei San also played for Malaysia in the World championship in Auckland, New Zealand. She was also in the Malaysian team for this year’s World championship in Singapore. However, after attending the first phase training programme, Pei San had to withdraw from the squad because of a knee injury.
“I went for an operation and it took me some time to recover. After the rehabilitation programme, I have fully recovered and started training as well,’’ said Pei San, who is hailed as Malaysia’s best midfielder.
She is keen to represent Malaysia in next year’s Asian championship in Sri Lanka.
“I will be playing in local competitions and also other competitions. I can still contribute to the national team,’’ said Pei San.
Name: Puah Pei San
Date of Birth: April 28, 1986
Education: SJKC Jalan Kapar, Klang (1992-1998)
Bukit Jalil Sports School (1999-2003)
Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (2004-2006)
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (2006-2010)
Current status: Teacher and netball coach (BJSS)
Most memorable moment: Helping Malaysia finish 14th in the 2005 World Youth Netball championships in Florida, USA.
2000-2001: Champion in the Under-17 Malaysia-Singapore series
2002: Runner-up in the Asian Youth Under-21 netball championship in Malaysia.
2003: Champion in the Asean Schools netball championship in Singapore
Voted as the Best Midfielder
2004: Champion in the Asian Youth Under-21 netball championship in Sri Lanka
2005: Runner-up in the Asian netball championship in Singapore
Placed 14th in the World Youth natball championship in Florida, USA
2006: Champion in the Asian Youth Under-21 netball championship
2007: Placed 16th in the World netball championship in Auckland, New Zealand
2008: Champion in the Asean University Games
2009: Third in the Asian netball championship in Malaysia
2010: Runner-up in National netball championship in Kuala Lumpur
Voted as the Best midfielder