Golf and Fencing: An Interview with Cempaka Schools Top Student Athletes

Jeanna Junady and Natasha Oon
Girl Power: fencer Jeanna and golfer Natasha of Cempaka International School Damansara Heights. (Image Credit: Ryan Lien Kar Sheng).

Aside from academics and performing arts, Cempaka Schools actively promote and excel in a variety of sports. To cap the International Women’s month, we recently sat down with two of the top female athletes of Cempaka International School Damansara Heights to talk about their respective sports, studies and other passions: golfer Natasha Andrea Oon (Mallory Privett Award 2016 – Best Female Champion) and fencer Jeanna Leia Alis Junady (Malaysia’s current number 1 for Epee Under 17 Girls).

How do you manage stress associated with competitions. Can you share with us some of the things you would do to calm yourself before a large competition?

Natasha: Usually, I would read this article by Dr.Bob Rotella. He talks about what goes on inside the golfer’s mind and how to tackle problems that may happen in the competition. It really is helpful. But normally, my pre-shot routine in the competitions help me a lot because it is a repetitive thing that I do before my swing.

Jeanna:  I don’t really have a pre-game ritual, but whenever I am not playing a game or watching my competitors’ games, I will always be listening to my music. It really helps me to calm down and also block out a lot of distracting sounds.

How do you manage time for your studies and your love for golf/fencing?

Natasha: Discipline is the number one key. Just balancing both studies and golf, is really hard when you’re not disciplined. Also, communicating with the teachers really help. The teachers in Cempaka International School are really helpful and just letting them know my progress and which topics I don’t really understand can really go a long way.

Jeanna: Managing my time isn’t easy. My training starts in the evening and ends late at night, so the only time I get to rest is after school for about an hour or so. Even that depends if I have other classes or homework to do. I normally try to finish my homework and do revision before I go for training, but when I have other classes in between, that gives me less time to rest and do schoolwork. It really depends on what day it is and what classes I have on that day. Sometimes, I wake up at around 4 in the morning to study and do my homework. It isn’t the best thing to do, but it’s what works for me.

Junior Honda Classic
According to her mom, Natasha honed her game by joining weekly golf tournaments while living in the Philippines.


Aside from golf/fencing what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

 Natasha: I enjoy a lot of drawing. It’s really cool because you can create anything through art. Last month, i attempted to do a drawing of    Stitch and it came out pretty well. I was quite happy with it. I also enjoy cooking and reading books.

Jeanna: Other than fencing, I dance. I take ballet and tap lessons, and I love to perform in showcases. I play the violin as well. But other than that, I don’t have much spare time, I’m either always training, at dance class, or getting some revision done. Of course, most importantly, I also have to spend time with my siblings and parents.

Any favorite subjects?

Natasha: Business studies, because it is very interesting to know what happens in businesses and how entrepreneurs think. I really find it cool when I got to learn how they advertise or learn concepts like ‘opportunity costs’. It’s a great subject.

Jeanna: ICT and Mathematics are my favourite subjects, I like how that there are fixed ways to get an answer, and when you get the answer, it’s either right or wrong. Kind of like fencing. If I had to get a job when I’m older, it would probably have something to do with Maths or ICT.

Jeanna Junady
Jeanna is the only member of her family into fencing. Now she is the country’s number 1 in Epee for U17 Girls.

Who is your favorite golfer/fencer of all time? Why?

Natasha: My favorite golfer of all time is Jessica Korda because she doesn’t throw any tantrums on the course and she is a very free-spirited person. She also has a really long distance in her game, her swing is so fast and powerful that it just makes me go wow when the ball flies. It’s phenomenal!

Jeanna:  My favourite fencer is Nam Hyun Hee, the Beijing Olympic silver medalist for foil. Even with a height disadvantage, she isn’t intimidated by others. In fencing, being short in height can be a disadvantage, so for her to be able to face her opponents without any fear is very inspiring.

Any advice for girls your age?

Natasha: Always work hard for what you want. Be the person you want to be! No matter what happens keep moving forward. The puzzle will come together eventually and in the end, you know you earned it.

Jeanna: To girls my age, my best advice would be to believe in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, and don’t be scared to try something new, because if I did not have the courage to try out fencing, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

There you have it! We definitely look forward for a brighter future for Jeanna and Natasha, and we hope that their words and achievements will continue to inspire more young athletes to strive for excellence. SCHEDULE A VISIT TODAY: ‘Schedule A Visit on the drop down menu, fill out the required information, select time, date and campus and submit)

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