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Sporting A Good Future

Sport-Related Through-Train Diploma Programmes

After spending much of his childhood at table tennis courts, Beh Kun Ting joined the Table Tennis Academy in Secondary 1 to see how far he can go towards his dream of being a table tennis star. It has been six years since he joined the school, and he is still a student-athlete with Singapore Sports School as he took up the through-train Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management (DSLM) jointly offered with Republic Polytechnic. Like most other student-athletes who join the diploma programme, Kun Ting wanted to take advantage of the athlete-friendly and flexible learning structure of the programme to pursue his passion, while developing his skills and knowledge to join the sports fraternity in future. “Sports has been my life, and I want to continue being part of the industry even after I retire from the sport,” he shared.

Athletes often have passion and purpose for what they do. Beyond developing high-potential athletes to be national representatives, Sports School creates a purpose through their passion by developing them to become sports professionals. Since 2006, the school has been fuelling the passion of student-athletes by offering sport-related through-train programmes which prepare student-athletes for a career in the sports industry.

The first sport-related through-train course offered to enable long-term sport development was the Diploma in Sport Management and Exercise Science in collaboration with Auckland University of Technology. Several champions embarked on the programme and have continued making their mark in sports, including Tao Li who made a splash by making it to the finals of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games and started her own swimming academy known as the Tao Li Swimming Club; Sports School swimming coach Mylene Ong Chui Bin who has also participated at the London 2012 Olympics; and ex-national sailor Joel Pang Wen Jie, a 2013 Southeast Asian Games bronze medallist, who is currently a sport physiologist at Singapore Sport Institute.

In 2009, Sports School signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Republic Polytechnic to offer the DSLM. The specialised diploma programme that has a conducive timetable and can be customised according to a student-athletes' sporting demands has enabled many sport champions to rise and has prepared them to be work-ready. Since then, the course was renamed Diploma in Sport Management (DSPM) in 2019, before being replaced by the Diploma in Business (DBIZ) course with a Sport Management specialisation track in 2020.

Though there has been constant review in the course to align to current employability trends and demands, the Diploma programmes offered in collaboration with Republic Polytechnic have had a common goal – to prepare student-athletes to be a Champion For Sports for our thriving and vibrant sports industry.

The current DBIZ offered from this year gives student-athletes a strong foundation in business skills and allows them to specialise in Sport Management by gaining in-depth knowledge in areas such as Sports Law, Sports Facilities Management, Sports Business, Sports Event Management and Sports Policies.

The DSLM course has enabled Kun Ting to train hard and participate in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2019 Men’s Junior World Championships and 2020 South-East Asian (SEA) Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships. He hopes to qualify for the next SEA Games before heading to the Olympic Games by 2028. Ultimately, Kun Ting wants to be a coach and he believes that the course has helped him gain a deeper understanding on the business and communication skills required to be an effective coach.

Athletes who have benefited from the DSLM course are sprinter 2015 SEA Games 200m gold medallist Veronica Shanti Veronica Pereira, wushu exponent and 2019 SEA Games silver medallist Jowen Lim Si Wei and ex-national paddler Isabelle Li Siyun who received the Public Service Commission Scholarship in 2015.