Focused on the ball, and focused on his beliefs and convictions

“Some say it’s a sleazy sport, because of the gangs and vulgarities. But I think it’s a gentleman sport because there’s no physical contact,” said pool and snooker player Brandon Leow, who was gentlemanly enough to take the initiative in shaking hands with this writer before and after the interview. He is part of Team CHR (short for Christchurch), which played at W.A.D! Games on July 20, 2013.

 

Back in his primary school days, he was a more rebellious kid. He bit a teacher’s hand and applied glue on people’s chairs. But life lessons he learnt from his parents and primary school teachers brought about a positive change in him and have continued to stay with him, even when he is exposed to different temptations.

 

At pool saloon, “sometimes people get temperamental and hot-tempered but I try to be patient and avoid conflicts”, he said.

 

The 22-year-old started playing pool and snooker about five years ago, after being influenced by his father who also plays the sport. His parents were supportive when he played for his team in Christchurch Secondary, but his father also reminded him to stay away from people who could be of negative influence. “They are not the sort of people I want to become, so I tell myself to keep away from bad company.”

 

The thought he puts into striking a ball and his focus at the pool table plays out in how he makes other decisions as well.

 

Brandon said: “I think of the consequences. If someone wants to pick a fight, you have two options – either you get into a fight, or you step away. What benefits do I get from getting into a fight? If I want to vent my anger, I can just go home and vent it and yell into a pillow or something.”

 

“Always stand your ground and stay true to yourself,” he said, adding that learning to manage conflicts has also helped him be accommodating and tolerant of fellow national servicemen.

 

Brandon has a diploma in psychology and intends to get a degree in psychology after serving NS. He hopes to become a social worker or counsellor and help youth in society.

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