When I’m not at work, I like to… play baseball. The sport may have a very small following in Singapore, but I love it because it is a team sport in which you use every part of your body – even your brain because it is a very strategic game.I’m a… center field player, so it is my job to catch the balls that fly deep outside the diamond. My catch rate is probably about 80 per cent.I started playing baseball… in 2006 during my National Service days. I played softball during junior college and wanted to give baseball a try. In 2008, I was selected for the national team. I joined at a time of transition, when many senior players were retiring from the squad. It was a very tough time for us. We didn’t even have enough players to form a team! Our core team has now been together for about four years, and we’ve been able to take part in major international competitions.My best baseball memory is… when I captained the team during the 10th Asian Baseball Cup held in Thailand in 2012. It was the team’s first international competition and no one gave us a chance. We were losing to Myanmar in the opening game with only one inning to go. It was our last chance to go on the offensive. And we did it. We won by one run. That was huge.
Gangyi (centre) with his team after their win against Myanmar
When we prepare for a competition, I train… up to four times a week – three on-the-field training sessions and a work out in the gym on Tuesday. Otherwise, we train twice a week – on the field on Saturday and in the gym on Tuesday.I’ve played baseball for 10 years now… and I still love it. I’ve gone from rookie to team captain and now to team manager as well as player. As team manager, I help to source for funding and manage the admin duties of the team.I learnt from playing baseball… that inspiring belief is more effective than shouting. Our coach, who has volunteered with us for the last 20 years, has been a great inspiration and a great leader. He inspires belief in us that we can be the best. Because only when you believe that you are the best, can you play to the best of your ability.The toughest thing about playing baseball is… that it is such a little known and supported sport in Singapore. Not only do we struggle to get enough players sometimes, we also have to fight for funding. Funding is performance-based and can be tough to get. In the past, because I like making things with my hands, I’ve sold hand-crafted designs made of iron beads (plastic beads that fuse together when ironed) to colleagues and friends to raise money for the team.My biggest dream is… to play baseball at the Southeast Asia Games.
Gangyi playing the sport he loves