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Living The Dream Of Excelling In Sports And Studies

2016 May IBDP Examination Results

To give up their sport dreams and hole up to prepare for the IBDP November 2015 Examination or defer the completion of their pre-university education by six months was not a difficult decision that synchronised swimmer Natalie Chen Mei Qing and netballer Avelyn Leong Kit Yan had to make.

Natalie was looking forward to performing as part of Team Singapore at the Southeast Asian Games for the second time, while Avelyn was in the running to represent Singapore at the 2015 Asian Youth Netball Championship. They were also confident that their teachers at Singapore Sports School would help them to catch up on their studies after their competitions were over.

Both girls fulfilled their dreams with Natalie winning two gold medals at the Singapore 2015 Sea Games in June and Avelyn returning with a bronze medal from Hongkong in December. They were also all smiles when they received their International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Examination results on 6 July 2016 – Avelyn scored 40 points out of a possible 45, and Natalie was just 1 point shy from a perfect score. Avelyn and Natalie are the only two student-athletes from Sports School who sat for the May 2016 examination.

“I knew that I would be missing lots of lessons due to my hectic Sea Games training regime. As such, I chose to defer my examination as that would give me the flexibility to pursue excellence in both sports and studies,” said Natalie, who, at 14 years old, won 1 silver and 1 bronze medal at the Jakarta 2011 Sea Games.

“My teachers were very caring and made extra effort to have consultations with me to help me catch up on the lessons I missed. I was very confident that this was the best programme for me. I would not have been able to score 44 points without the kind of support that I was given. I am grateful to the Sports School for this,” added Natalie.

Avelyn, too, credited her good results to the strong support from the academic staff at the Sports School.

“The resources we have at Sports School are tremendous and I trusted the system enough to take the risk. It is not easy to juggle sports and studies and we managed to only because we had a team of dedicated teachers to guide and encourage us,” said Avelyn.

Besides contributing to the 2015 Asian Youth Netball Championship bronze medal, Avelyn was also part of the team that finished runner-up at the 2015 Netball Super League.

Seven in 10 of Sports School’s first cohort of student-athletes who sat for the IBDP Examination in November 2015 achieved 40 points and more. Among them were netball player Deborah Wong Weng Ee, who at 17 years old in 2014, was selected for the National U21 netball team; Bernard Ong Soon Yang who represented Singapore at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games; and Daphne Oh Xin Yi, President of the Student’s Council, who won the 2015 Australia National Youth Cup Ladies’ division and 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals at the 2015 Australia National Youth Challenge to help the Sports School win the Overall Women’s Team trophy.

In June 2015, Sports School signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Baccalaureate Organization and World Academy of Sport, allowing selected student-athletes in high performance sport up to four years to complete their post-secondary IBDP. Seven student-athletes who started on this post-secondary programme on 4 January 2016 have opted for the longer pathway – three on the 4-year track and four on the 3-year track.