Meet the Match

A Journalist Writing Stories to Make a Difference

You’re only as good as your last byline. That’s the philosophy that drives May Chen, a budding sports journalist for The Straits Times in Singapore.  As a sports journalist, May loves the challenge of a new day and a new story.  “In the newsroom, every day is fresh. You never live the same day twice. No matter how good or how bad you were the day before, you get to wake up the next day and be better.  And as one of a small handful of female sports journalists in the country, this motivates me.”

May comes from a family of extremely hardworking parents. May’s mother had a very difficult life as a child, but overcame many obstacles to become successful. Having a strong and determined mother not only inspired May, but it also gave her the strength to pursue her own dreams.

Combining her passion for sport, especially tennis, with her love of writing, May has charted a new path for women in Singapore – the path of a female sports journalist.  At The Straits Times Sports Desk, May is one of only two females on a team of twenty. May is a beat writer for a number of sports, including tennis, badminton, table-tennis, and track and field, while becoming increasingly responsible for writing human-interest stories and commentaries.

As a young sports journalist, May has experienced tremendous success and proven herself deserving of newsworthy moments. In August of 2010, May was among 28 young reporters from 23 countries covering the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore as part of the inaugural International Olympic Committee Young Reporters’ Programme. For her incredible coverage and relentless work ethic, May was then awarded one of only two spots to cover the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Since then, May has been named Young Journalist of the Year for The Straits Times and given numerous special awards for excellence and consistently good work. Her persistence also landed her an exit interview with Jacques Rogge, former IOC president, and allowed her to break the story of the WTA’s selection of Singapore as the next host city for the WTA Championships.

Despite her success, May is hungry to learn more and to hone her talent. She’s also passionate about creating a more balanced newsroom, one that supports women as sports reporters as well as increased coverage of women’s sports. “In Singapore, like most other countries, men’s sports are the priority. Giving girls opportunities to participate in sports or sports careers would open up our society. As a nation, we shouldn’t box people in – only certain jobs for certain genders. When it comes to the news, there is no difference between what I do and what the guys do – I write, they write. Seems simple to me. And if we are open in the sports domain, it could open up avenues in other areas of society as well.”

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