Chelsea Ann Sim is not your typical 26-year-old graduate from Singapore Management University. For over 15 years, she has been a dedicated member of the National Team for Taekwondo. Medals are not the only things Chelsea fights for; she has made it a point to give back to the community. Keep reading to find out more about why and how Chelsea does it all.
How did you start giving back to the community?
As a student, I volunteered with the Assisi Hospice for about a year and joined the Paya Lebar Youth Network as a Grassroots Leader to give back to the community where I grew up in. I also wanted to make an impact within the sports community.
Besides representing Singapore in Taekwondo for 11 years and winning medals for our nation, I joined the Singapore National Olympic Council Athletes’ Commission in 2018, and most recently, the newly formed Singapore Taekwondo Federation Athletes’ Commission in January 2021.
These two platforms aim to promote a conducive, supportive and sustainable environment to enable athletes in Singapore to achieve their potential, and establish opportunities for athletes to connect, develop, be educated and be heard.
I have also been coaching since 2019 to help groom the next generation of potential athletes and pass on the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years.
That sounds like a lot to take on at such a young age, why do you do what you do?
Giving back to the community makes me happy and warms my heart when I get to see the smiles on the beneficiaries’ faces, as I know that behind those smiles may lie a lot of difficulties. Yet they have accepted the hand of cards life has dealt them and are trying to make the most of it.
I believe that no action is too small if you put your heart into helping someone in need. My main source of inspiration to give back to the community comes from my family. Seeing how my grandma and mother have such a big heart and are always so generous despite not having much has taught me the values of compassion and empathy that inspire me to want to give back to the community.
Speaking about family, you and your family also do something for… cats?
Yes! My family and I love animals, especially cats, and I think it is important that the stray or abandoned cats out there are given a loving home. In total, my family has adopted four of our cats, and my husband and I are currently looking into adopting a cat for our new home too.
Incredible! Sounds like you’ve got your hands full! Ever had moments where you felt like giving up?
I have been through my own set of obstacles in life, and through the years, these experiences have taught me values such as perseverance, determination, and resilience. My personal mantra in life is: “What doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you”. If life is always smooth sailing with no challenges, we would not be able to challenge ourselves to become better, learn from our mistakes and grow.
If you are going through a tough time and feel like giving up, always remember that someone out there is going through a tougher time than you are, and if they are able to overcome it, you can too.
Any last thoughts about giving back to the community?
I would like for everyone to be grateful for all the little blessings in life and remember that there’s always someone out there who needs your help. Try not to take things for granted and don’t assume the worst of people before even getting to know them, as they might be going through hardships that you aren’t aware of.
Now, more than ever, our community needs our help, so we should adopt a giving spirit to start contributing back to the community in any way possible.