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Elements Combine For Equilibrium In Sport, Studies

Graduation 2020 Feature: National Examination Pathway (GCE O-Level)

At 12-years-old, Althea Dang Thanh Ly developed an interest in pharmaceutical products and chemistry. Her mother had fallen ill, requiring many rounds of treatment and doses of medicine. Althea’s inquisitive mind began wondering how the medicines reacted her mother’s body to help fight the disease and aid in recovery. Naturally, she grew to love chemistry in secondary school and set her mind on pursuing a chemistry-related course in a polytechnic after her GCE O-Level Examinations.

“In the past, I did not think much of medicines and their effect, but after my mother fell ill, I became intrigued,” said Althea, who will be graduating from Singapore Sports School at the end of 2020.

“I became very interested in how drugs function, how they actually help people, as well as the role that chemistry plays in the medical field. I hope to be able to better people’s lives and possibly develop drugs that could save lives, and Applied Chemistry that’s offered in Nanyang Polytechnic is the closest match to my interest.”

A perfect combination of hard work, good attitude, focus and a drive for excellence has helped Althea become one of the top in her cohort academically and sport-wise. Before sport events were thrown in limbo due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 16-year-old bowler snagged a hat trick of gold medals at 18th Australia National Youth Team Challenge in Melbourne from 14 to 16 January 2020. Her three wins out of a possible four made her the top performer in the Under 21 tournament.

Althea’s victories in Australia were on the back of a convincing win in the 20th Storm U22 International Junior All-Stars Bowling Championship Girls Under 15 Masters Finals in December 2019.

She credits her success in balancing both sport and studies well to the support system available at Sports School. The structured daily timetable that student-athletes undergo has helped the Secondary 4 student-athlete manage her time effectively so that she remains on top of her studies, including the daily Supervised Self-Study Time (SST) – a dedicated time for student-athletes living in Boarding to complete their homework and revise.

Her potential as a bowler also opened more doors for her to travel overseas for competitions and training camps, and missing classes were inevitable on such occasions. Yet, Althea never had to compromise sport for studies or vice versa.

“Whenever I miss classes, my teachers would always make time to help me catch up on my school work. This allowed me to focus fully on my sport when I am competing and still be able to catch up with my classmates quickly when I return to school. Singapore Sports School has contributed to my development as an individual and a student-athlete by providing me with many opportunities to go overseas and compete with the best of the best, thus allowing me to hone my skills and develop as an athlete.

My mentors and coaches who constantly guide me especially when I make a mistake have helped me grow as a person. From them, I have learnt how to handle difficult situations better, keep my emotions in check, own up to my mistakes and accept the consequences that come with it, as well as how to move forward from them,” she shared.