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Girl Power

18th Student Council: Presidential Campaign

Three female student-athletes have boldly volunteered to lead the student body in the next Student Council term. The desire to bring about positive change in the school has driven Sabrina Lee Jingyi (Badminton, IBDP Year 5), Samantha Theresa Ortega (Track and Field, Secondary 4) and Taneisha Kaur Teo Eelin (Bowling, Secondary 4) to run for the position of President of the 18th Student Council.

From 15 to 26 April 2021, the trio had the opportunity to run a campaign before an internal voting process took place on 27 April. Results of the election will be announced in May before the new student council is invested in July.

Candidate 1: Sabrina Lee Jingyi

“When I first came to Sports School, I remember watching the student leaders lead us with such passion and enthusiasm, which made me work towards becoming more confident like them, to be able to lead the school just as they did,” said student-athlete Sabrina Lee Jingyi (Badminton, IBDP Year 5).

Sabrina first entered Singapore Sports School in 2017 and was so inspired by her student leaders that she was immediately drawn to leadership roles.

In Secondary 1, she was made a student councillor and sports captain of the Badminton Academy. She continued to be part of the Student Council, and took on a new role as Deputy Head Secretary of the Exco in her third term in 2019. She is currently serving her third time in the Council as Head Secretary of the Exco. She now aspires to be the 18th Student Council President.

“My main plan is to be as open and candid as possible. I sought to have a campaign which would allow people to get to know who I am as a person, rather than who they think I am, based on impression.”

Sabrina holds mental health issues dear to her heart and wants to reach out to her fellow peers to lessen the burden of psychological stresses for student-athletes.

“I think that if I want to make significant, positive changes to the school, I would have to dig deep and address issues that are beyond the surface. As such, I would like to try to focus on sensitive issues which tend to be overlooked, hopefully being a voice to student-athletes who are too afraid to speak up.”

Candidate 2: Samantha Theresa Ortega

“It gives me pleasure to be able to bring joy and happiness to those around me and I hope that being Student Council President will give me greater opportunities to serve others,” said Samantha Theresa Ortega (Track and Field, Secondary 4).

Having been entrusted with a leadership role since Secondary 1, serving the community and representing her peers is not new to Samantha whose leadership journey began as an sports captain. Her next term as student leader saw her serving as a School Captain, the equivalent of a Student Councillor, before being nominated to join the 17-strong Executive Committee in 2020. She shares that witnessing the joy that the student body experience through events that the student leaders organise has brought her fulfilment, but more importantly to see teams working together and persisting through difficulties to deliver.

As the Exco’s Deputy Head of School Projects, Samantha had a key role in the school’s recent 2021 e-Open House, seeing several student-led productions to completion. She and her co-leader Lau Wei Na (Water Polo, IBDP Year 5) brought valuable perspective as they worked alongside staff to publicise the school to their future juniors.

“I’ve heard many comments and suggestions about areas for improvement in the school, hence I decided to run for Student Council President in hopes of making the school a better place for everyone,” she shared. “I also hope to build a loving Sports School community which brings out the best in us.”

Candidate 3: Taneisha Kaur Teo Eelin

“I decided to run for President of the Student Council because I believe in my abilities as a leader. I want the school to be a more caring environment and believe that I can make an impactful change as president,” said student-athlete Taneisha Kaur Teo (Bowling, Secondary 4).

Taneisha has served for 3 years in the executive committee and has not only seen the work that goes on behind the scenes, but has pitched in her fair share too. She was first a student councillor, and continued to take on a role as Deputy Head of School Projects in the Exco of the 16th Council and is currently serving in the Council as Deputy Head, Secretary.

“I hope to inspire a culture of empathy to make student-athletes more comfortable in school knowing that they have the support of their peers. This allows student-athletes to lift each other up and grow, not only individuals, but a team. It’s a step away from the competitive environment we are used to in our respective sports.”

Taneisha plans to do this by implementing a cross-academy buddy programme if she is elected as president. Her campaign plan is to be as open and honest and to communicate her future plans for the School.

“I plan to be more open with the student-athletes and staff in the school and share not only the good, but also the parts that need working on. It is also important to acknowledge what has been done right, showing gratitude to the people who have made the Sports School today possible.”