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Triathlete Who Is Never Afraid To Try

Graduation 2020: Valedictorian (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme)

From taking on triathlon midway during his time at Singapore Sports School, to taking up the challenge to lead the entire student body as the Chairperson of the Council of School Captains in 2019/2020 just months before the 2019 SEA Games – Nicholas Rachmadi has never been afraid to try just about anything.

He is a highly-motivated and determined student-athlete who puts his heart, mind, and soul into all that he does. As a result, he is more than able to meet the demands of his studies, sport commitments, and widen his horizons beyond the classrooms.

Nicholas Rachmadi, who started swimming at the age of five, joined Sports School after going to several Open Houses when he was in Primary 6 as he felt that he will be able to balance his love for swimming, and his aspiration to do well in his studies in the school’s athlete-friendly environment. However, after spending ten years in the water, Nicholas’s performance started to stagnate. While Nicholas was struggling to improve his timings in the water, he unexpectedly realised he had another strength.

During his NAPFA test, Nicholas ran an outstanding timing of 8:55mins during his 2.4km run. His father then felt that it would be in his son’s best interest to take up triathlon instead, which would combine his passion for swimming and strength in running. Nicholas, on the other hand, was reluctant to give up swimming and reset his goals after a decade of swimming. He finally relented after being inspired when he spoke to other triathletes.

Though it was initially challenging for him to take on a new sport that required him to divide his time for training in running, swimming, and cycling, Nicholas worked very hard towards his new goals.

After just three months of training, Nicholas beat 17 other competitors to win his first competition at the 2016 Ultra Aquathlon in the U15 Dash category (300m swim, 2km run). From then on, things started to look up for Nicholas. Last year, Nicholas hit a milestone by winning silver for Duathlon (Mixed Relay) for his debut appearance at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.

To prepare for the 2019 SEA Games, Nicholas decided to take up the Extended International Baccalaureate Programme (IBDP) that would give him an extra year to complete his studies. Offered only to Sports School student-athletes locally, the Extended IBDP allows student-athletes like Nicholas to plan their modules according to their sporting commitments.

Besides the 2019 SEA Games, Nicholas also took on another heavy responsibility last year. He was selected by his peers to represent them as the Chairperson of the Council of School Captains. The charismatic and charming leader led several school events, projects, and initiatives, and effectively managed different personalities and difficult situations. Prior to that, Nicholas had already proven his leadership abilities as the Captain of the “B” and “C” Division teams in the Swimming Academy, and had led events such as the Secondary 1 Orientation Games and Project Champions Way.

As Nicholas has to juggle many hats as a student-athlete and a student leader, effective time management is extremely important for him. Nicholas shared, “I think having goals for yourself is paramount as it constantly keeps you in check of the reason of why you actually started in the first place. Personally, I always start with an end in mind and it helps me stay driven in the process despite the tight schedules. Prioritising is also a key factor in attempting to balance both sports and studies… Hence, knowing your schedule is also crucial as it helps you plan before hand on what you need to focus on.”

Nicholas is graduating among the Class of 2020, and is deserving to be the valedictorian for the IBDP section. He hopes to continue achieving more milestones in sports in the future, including qualifying for the 2028 Olympic Games. He also aims to pursue Medicine in a local university.

We look forward to seeing the success that awaits Nicholas.