Six Receive Scholarship For Sport Excellence
For the most part of 2019, Trevor Tan Xuxuan was in the land of k-pop, k-drama and jjajangmyeon. However, even before dawn broke in South Korea, the 17-year-old would make his way to the ice skating rink for a 4-hour morning session. Training would resume again in the late afternoon for another 4.5 hours. In that arena, the Singapore Sports School student-athlete would hone his technique, skills and race tactics daily. After several months of intense training – more than eight times more ice-time than what he is able to do in Singapore, Trevor made history at the 2019 Asian Open Short-Track Trophy in Kunming, China, on 28 August, when he won Singapore’s first gold medal at the meet. He clinched the Men’s Junior B 1,000m title while setting a new National Under 18 Record of 1:29.899s.
Trevor’s – and his teammates’ – achievements in 2019 helped grow local interest in the lesser-known sport of speed skating. Not only was he part of the Men’s 3,000m Relay Team that won the gold medal in the sport’s debut at the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines 2019 edition, Trevor was also one of the first three Singaporeans who represented Singapore at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne in January 2020.
Trevor, who is on Sports School’s athlete-friendly IBDP Extended programme, credits his breakthroughs to his year-long training stint in South Korea where he trained alongside Olympians and world champions. The stint provided the much-needed stretch that he’s unable to find in Singapore. Aside from an intense training programme in 2019 during which he took Leave of Absence from school, he also took part in many competitions in various countries to acquire the necessary exposure to raise his game.
On 1 April 2020, Trevor was among 17 new recipients of the spexScholarship. The spexScholarship, short for Sports Excellence Scholarship, is an initiative by Singapore Sport Institute to provide financial and programmatic support for athletes who have the potential to perform at the major Games and other major competitions. Trevor is the first ice skater to be part of the spexScholarship programme.
“Receiving the spexScholarship really means a lot to me. Knowing that Sport Singapore is supporting me in my dream of competing in the Winter Olympic Games is a huge morale booster. With the scholarship, I will have access to world-class training stints and facilities, and quality equipment that will help me optimise my performance at training and competition. Costs arising from coaching, training, competitions and equipment are not cheap as I work towards Olympics qualification, so being able to have these costs offset by the scholarship will definitely relieve some worry and financial burden from my parents and I,” said Trevor.
Another new sport to be included in the programme, which is in its seventh year, is jiu-jitsu, secured by Sports School alumna and jiu-jitsu World Champion Constance Lien Tian-En.
Four other Sports School present and past student-athletes who were awarded the Scholarship in 2020 are: Charmaine Chang Yu Qian, Jermaine Seah (Bowling); Marc Brian Louis and Reuben Rainer Lee Siong En (Track and Field).
Reuben, a post-secondary Year 2 student-athlete in the Diploma in Business Studies programme, is aiming to make his debut at the World Junior Athletics Championships and SEA Games in 2021. The sprinter, who received the scholarship this year, said: “Knowing that I will be supported in my sport development plans, such as going overseas to train and compete, motivates me to train even harder.
“My coach and I have discussed and charted out the milestones over the next few years. Eventually, I’m aiming to qualify for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games when I’m 26 years old.”
With specific goals to meet by a set of fixed dates – one for the SEA Games, another for the Asian Games – all leading him to the Olympics, Reuben is currently on track and the scholarship will serve as a boost in his quest.
2020 NEW SPEXSCHOLARS
Charmaine Chang Yu Qian
Trevor Tan Xuxuan
Constance Lien Tian-En
Track and Field
Marc Brian Louis
Reuben Rainer Lee Siong En