Dhaaneya’s parents separated when she was five, it was a hard pill for her to swallow. Her self-esteem was affected and her academic performance suffered too, as a consequence. As a way to improve her performance, Dhaaneya’s mother enrolled her in SINDA’s Project Read to instil the reading habit in her and motivate her from a young age. While that programme benefited Dhaaneya, her mother too managed to gain help from SINDA through Project Athena – the parenting talks she attended offered her insights into various coping mechanisms and these techniques helped create a positive impact in the lives of both mother and daughter.
Dhaaneya joined her school’s hockey team in secondary school and served as Vice-Captain from 2014 to 2016. She developed a steadfast leadership style that encouraged her team in resilience and sportsmanship, which helped the team achieve their best performance. Under Dhaaneya’s leadership, the hockey team went on to gain victory at the National ‘C’ Division Girls Hockey Championship in 2014 and the National ‘B’ Division Girls Hockey Championships in 2015 and 2016!
Her involvement and dedication in sports helped her find the spirit to excel at what she does and she applied that to her academics to improve her grades. “When I started playing hockey, I realised I enjoy playing this sport very much and found myself striving to give my best during training. That was when it occurred to me that if I learn to like what I do, I am capable of performing well. Hockey will always be special to me for teaching me that if I put my heart and soul into something and I don’t give up despite facing challenges, I will achieve what I want. So, I adopted that same attitude towards my studies as well.”
Dhaaneya gradually improved and in Secondary 4, qualified for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme, open only to the top 20% of Normal Academic students. She began her post-secondary education in Business Studies at Temasek Polytechnic two years ago and is currently receiving the Director’s List Award. She manages all these, while also juggling part-time work to help alleviate the financial burdens on her mother. In recognition of her enduring spirit, SINDA nominated Dhaaneya for the Singapore Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) Indian Women of the Year Awards 2019 and she was a finalist for the ‘Young Achiever Award’.
“In future, as a form of giving back to the community, I plan to start a hockey academy for children from single-parent homes,” says Dhaaneya.