Carmen Goh balances playing for Singapore and a demanding career as an ER doctor

Favourite moments from this year’s Netball World Cup tournament?
During the Sri Lanka game in the final seconds of the last quarter, when I made a pass to Kaiwei from the centre third – going past taller and bigger defenders to her right under the pole – was a highlight. My absolute favourite moment was finding out that my mum had flown to Liverpool as a surprise. My younger sister who’s currently living in Prague had made plans to come for the later matches, but they secretly hatched a plan for my mum and aunt to come along too.

How do you balance your netball training and competitions with your work commitments?
A lot of understanding from my friends, family, colleagues and bosses. Friends because I can hardly meet up with them and sometimes reply to their messages only days later. Family because they barely see me at home, but constantly fuss over my wellbeing. Colleagues and bosses who allow me to pursue netball and offer to do extra shifts, so I’m able to make it to training.

When did you start playing netball?
I started playing in primary school at 10 years old. I went to CHIJ Kellock, a school that was strong in netball and I attended the trials which were held during one of our PE classes. I was small but I guess the coach saw something in me.

What is your favourite thing about playing netball?
I love tricking the opponents together with my teammates. I love making a pass that skims the defender’s fingertips but lands perfectly in my teammate’s hands.
I love finding new ways to play the game and challenging conventional styles. Above all, I love that some of my oldest and best friends came from the various netball teams I’ve played in over the years.

What are the best and worst parts of your job as an ER doctor?
The best part is the unpredictability – what’s this patient going to complain of? – then figuring out the diagnosis and subsequent management. I could go from tending to an elderly patient who complained of giddiness to re-setting a broken bone to suturing a laceration in one shift (and then to netball training). The hardest part would be having to inform family members that their loved ones have passed on. I’ve been the messenger a couple of times and it is always difficult, especially watching parents cry over the unexpected death of their child.

Favourite place you’ve travelled to?
New Zealand. I’ve gone for the last three years to the Remarkables to snowboard and it holds special memories because it’s where I first learnt snowboarding, first went bungee jumping and first stayed in a campervan!

What’s next for you?
For me it will be settling in back at work with a short trip to Koh Samui to unwind. Then it’ll be back to the grind for netball again. Our next big tournament will be the M1 Nations Cup, here in Singapore from 20-26 October.*

*Check out Carmen and the Singapore Netball Team at M1 Nations Cup, 20-26 October. The six-nation netball championship hosted in Singapore will see Team Singapore (26th) compete against Ireland (24th), Namibia (32nd), Botswana (25th), Papua New Guinea (19th), and Cook Islands (16th) at the OCBC Arena. Tickets from