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High-Performing Student-Athletes Shine Through Extended IB Programme

Partnership With IB Organization and World Academy of Sport: Extended IBDP

A good six years have passed since Singapore Sports School has partnered with the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and World Academy of Sport (WAoS) to offer an extended academic pathway for high-performing student-athletes on 21 May 2015.

Internationally recognised as an Athlete-Friendly Education Centre, Sports School enables eligible student-athletes to stretch the completion of their IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) longer than the usual two years, in order to balance their competitive sports training and academic requirements.

As the only school in Singapore to offer the extended programme, Sports School implements a stringent internal selection process as per the agreement with WAoS and IBO. The School regularly reaches out to National Sports Associations to ask for recommendations of high-performing student-athletes from other schools who are considering extending their post-secondary academic pathways. Student-athletes on the extended pathway will attain the same qualifications as those on the usual 2-year pathway recognised for university admission.

The extended programme has reaped a multitude of benefits for student-athletes who have enrolled in it.

One such student-athlete is Wushu exponent Kimberly Ong Li Ling (Extended IBDP), who appreciates the extended programme for allowing her to juggle her academic commitments along with a hectic training schedule. With the flexibility in planning Kimberly’s academic subjects, she is able to free up time in between her lessons to go for strength and conditioning training in the gym, which she credits for helping her to make progress in her routine.

“I’ve learnt to be more resilient after joining the IBDP. The IBDP is one of the most challenging diploma programmes, and to do that whilst having heavy sport commitments makes it even more difficult. The IBDP has made me more open-minded. Subjects like Theory of Knowledge (TOK) have really made me view the world in a different light and this teaches me to view issues from various perspectives,” said Kimberly.

Kimberly took the first place in the 10th Asian Junior Wushu Championships in Brunei in 2019, even though she was recovering from a meniscus injury at the time. She received the 2019 Singapore Schools Sports Council Best Sportsgirl award for Wushu and is also a recipient of the EW Barker Scholarship from Sports School. The EW Barker Scholarship is sponsored by Temasek Foundation.

An alumna of the IBDP, shooter Adele Tan Qian Xiu, graduated in 2019 and proceeded to set a new national record by claiming the gold at the H&N Cup in Munich in 2020. She also bagged 2 bronzes in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle and Mixed 10m Air Rifle at the Philippines 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Adele is grateful for the Extended IBDP for helping her to achieve her sport goals: “When I was in the programme, I was able to train full-time, twice a day and travel overseas for competitions at least once a month. At the same time, I was still able to keep up with the academic rigour with many one-on-one meetings with my subject teachers. I was able to make use of the flexibility of the programme to train more and customise a training plan based on my competition schedule.”

“I also appreciated the skills I have learnt from the IBDP as it is a holistic programme. I learnt not just academic skills but also soft skills such as time management and how to work with others in a team.”

Direct School Admission – Junior Colleges (DSA-JC) into Sports School’s post-secondary International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme begins in June 2021. Students taking their GCE O-Level Examinations may apply for admission into Year 5. Find out more about the admission process here.