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Graduation 2011 - Speech by Jasvinderpal Singh, Singapore Sports School Student Council President

I speak on behalf of the graduating student-athletes of 2011. Honestly, I can't believe how quickly time had flown by without us realising that we are already journeying into the last phase of our school experience at Singapore Sports School.

I remember when I was penning this speech, I had a hard time thinking how to compress my four fabulous years of being a Sports School student-athlete into a 10 minutes' speech. As I look back on my journey - a journey that started out with hesitant, tentative steps, to how my fellow peers and I have progressed holistically into wholesome young ladies and gentlemen.

Four years ago, many of us were excited about what was to come in the next stage of our lives when we first joined Singapore Sports School. We have been blessed with the opportunity to experience boarding life. I remember vividly our first day in boarding, many of us cried because we missed home. Thinking about our lives back then makes us laugh today. Because today, we realise that boarding is a privilege and is something we can never get in mainstream schools. I'm sure that many of us would miss boarding when we leave Sports School.

In 2009, being an upper secondary student meant that we had more subjects and extra workload. It was indeed very tough in the beginning when we had to cope with both studies and sports at the same time, but thanks to the support of the academic and sports wing staff, as well as friends like you, we spurred one another on and went through the obstacles together that year.

2010 was a very interesting and memorable year for many of us here. Then, we were excited about the Youth Olympic Games because we were either competing or supporting our fellow student-athletes. 2010 was a year filled with many new experiences for us. We experienced what it was like to be in a day school at CNIS. At the same time, it also made us realise how fortunate we were to be in Sports School where we get to board and need not waste precious time travelling to our training destinations which allowed us to have more time to rest. Thinking about our experiences over the past years is something I'm sure many of you would not regret going through.

I can go on and on about our good old days at Sports School but I think I should start with our 'Thank You' now. 

When I think of my Sports School experience, I don't just think of us student-athletes, but instead I think of those who have painstakingly put in hours of efforts just to see us succeed in life.

Firstly to our beloved teachers and mentors who have guided us through this journey - thank you for making our school lives so memorable, for taking the extra effort to educate us in class, not only through textbooks, but also through the sharing of your personal experiences. You've also instilled in us the School's core values by role modeling through your daily interactions with us. I'm sure we have become better student-athletes since our first days at Sports School through your guidance, and many of us have also benefitted by learning many of life's lessons through you, and for that, we are deeply appreciative.

To our General Managers and coaches - thank you for being the ones who have guided us through thick and thin at School, be it through stressful moments or through injuries. You have indeed played a major part in our sporting pursuits by helping us bounce back stronger through resilience and perseverance. Most importantly, thank you for providing us with the exposure we needed to go as far as we can in our sporting pursuits. For this, I thank you.

To the boarding staff - thank you for providing us with a safe and conducive environment to live in. You took care of us as if we are your own children. You've also filled our boarding lives with engaging and fulfilling activities such as the night challenges as well as high and low key activities which further bonded us. We are deeply appreciative of what you have done for us.

To all our wonderful parents - thank you for always supporting and believing in us. You have always been playing a supporting role in our sporting and educational excellence by motivating us. Your faith and belief in us have brought us to where we are today. I'm sure you are all finding it difficult to believe that you are here today witnessing your child's graduation ceremony. This event is as significant to you as it is to us. I hope we have made you proud.

Lastly, student-athletes, thank you for the years of friendship and camaraderie. To our juniors, you have been a great joy to many of us seated here. Now that we are graduating, I hope we have been good role models for you. With our exit from Sports School, it is now time for us to relay the baton to you to uphold the good name of Singapore Sports School. Juniors, make us proud.

To my fellow graduands, we have made it! We are finally graduating! I know many of you are excited about it, but I'm sure some of you are still in disbelief that we are graduating so soon.

I remember vividly when I first joined Singapore Sports School, never have I expected all these to happen to me. I am sure we are all blessed to have friends whom we will never forget in our lives. You have made my school and boarding experience a very memorable and special one. I am sure many of us have had our fair share of ups and downs - in both studies and sports. We have managed to overcome our challenges in our studies and sports, which is the reason why you and I are here today.

I believe all of you had a wonderful and memorable experience at Singapore Sports School. Because I know I have. Let's not look back at the unpleasant memories that had brought us tears. Instead, let's look forward to the bright future that awaits us and let's work together to pursue it. I remember vividly during one of the morning assemblies at the beginning of this year when we were seated here, our Principal, Mrs Deborah Tan asked, 'Do you have dreams?' Many of us shouted, 'Yes!' But when she asked us, 'What are you going to do about it?' We sat in silence. I will always remember her wise words that morning. She said, 'Would you wake up to chase those dreams, or would you continue to sleep and dream about it?' Those words have always served as a motivation for me in both my sports and academic pursuits since then.

As our chapter in Sports School closes, and a new one begins, let's put in the effort to work together and chase those dreams of ours, and we'll rejoice when we receive our GCE "N" and "O" level results. Also, let's continue to stay in touch and never forget the class of 2011. To my fellow graduands, thank you very much for being such wonderful schoolmates for all the years I've spent at Sports School and all the best for your national exams!

Thank You.