- 18 Jan 2010
- Athlete Stories
Maryanne Gul recalls how her first experience of archery was in 2001 with a wooden bow. She quickly developed solid skills and was soon given the chance to try them out with a compound bow. She instantly fell in love with the discipline and developed a passion for the sport. She continued to develop her skills, and, in 2004, after being spotted during a leisure outdoor shoot, she was invited to join the national team.
Since joining the national team, Maryanne obtained bronze medals in both 2005 and 2007 at the Southeast Asian Games, as well as a silver medal at the Asian Grand Prix in 2005.
"Pursuing sport at an international level as well as a full-time career is a real handful on top of personal responsibilities. I’ve had to make many sacrifices to be able to devote time to training. Companies in Singapore don’t always understand an elite athlete's requirements. This was one of the reasons I resigned from my previous job to train for the Southeast Asian Games, as I felt that my management would not be able to grant me the kind of flexibility I needed, as well as the time off that would enable me to attend competitions.
I discovered the IOC ACP through my Association in early January. Dr Wong Loong Tat, President of the Archery Association of Singapore, received an e-mail from Chris Chan, Secretary General of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), which mentioned that they had read my story in the local newspaper. He hoped that the IOC ACP, through Adecco, could assist me with my job placement. As I was looking for a new career opportunity, I chose to sign up with the IOC ACP to find out what it could offer.
Shortly after I registered, Estelle Wong contacted me to set up a face-to-face meeting to explain more about what the IOC ACP could do for my career. As I had been in the workforce for the last seven years, with a fair bit of experience, I didn’t have to go through the entire programme. During the programme, I had an interesting time discovering that I am a people person and have strong capabilities in business development.
Interestingly, Adecco had an opening which complements my capabilities and personality. I have been working with Adecco Singapore for three months now and am truly enjoying the work, while pursuing archery at a national level.
There are still overlaps at times, but the programme has helped me discover my interests, as well as find employers that are sympathetic to my situation."