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A Leader With Passion And Compassion

Valedictorian (IBDP): Cheryl Wee

At just eleven years old, Cheryl Wee realised that she loved playing netball. She joined the netball team in CHIJ (Katong) School that year, and found herself enjoying the adrenaline-pumping action in a netball game. By the next year, she decided that Singapore Sports School would be her choice institution to work towards making netball a bigger part of her life.

As she walked into the gates of Sports School six years ago as a young girl with big dreams, Cheryl felt small in a school that spanned seven hectares to house many talented athletes. From transitioning from a girls’ school to a co-ed environment, to adjusting to boarding, and managing the rigour of sports training, Cheryl did feel overwhelmed by her new lifestyle. However, the young go-getter was determined to have a vibrant and enriching student life. From her first year, she has taken on different challenges each year with new leadership roles. She has been a student councillor, school captain, academy captain and the Vice-President of the Students’ Council – each of which taught her important life skills and values that have helped her develop as a student, leader and an athlete.

One of her most defining years as a leader was in Secondary 3 when she was entrusted the responsibility of being the Deputy Head in the Executive Committee of the Students’ Council. She said: “That year opened up a whole new dimension for me. I was involved in a lot more planning, got to experience first-hand how it felt to have your ideas rejected and having to re-plan events.” Cheryl worked her way up to become the Vice-President of the 17th Students Council in 2020/2021. As COVID-19 created restrictions and new ways of doing things, Cheryl and her committee had to go back to the drawing board to come up with new ways to co-lead the student body and plan events. Some of the events that she led during the pandemic period were the virtual Staff Day celebration, Sports School e-Orientation for Secondary 1 student-athletes and post-exam activities. She shared, “It was extremely difficult to basically start from scratch. Everything we knew and everything we did previously now, had to be done completely differently. One key challenge we faced with planning these major activities was getting everyone involved and engaged whilst adhering to safe management guidelines, which was constantly changing.”

Despite the challenges thrown at her, Cheryl led with passion and confidence. The smile on her face never faded as she took on each role and obstacle to deliver her best.

Cheryl has also impressed by consistently maintaining good grades, having excellent discipline on and off the courts, and for being a talented netballer. She was selected to be part of the North Zone 17 and under team when she was in Secondary 3. She also played an important role in helping the team achieve a Gold medal in the North Zone Schools Netball Championships in 2017 and 2018.

At the end of her primary school education, Cheryl got the Sister Finnbar Award that is presented to the most all-rounded student-athlete in the school. She maintained being a role model student-athlete throughout the six years in Sports School, earning the credit of being a Valedictorian representing the Class of 2021 in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Cheryl is grateful for being recognised as a Valedictorian this year. On her six-year journey, Cheryl shared, “From the day I entered as a Secondary 1 student, I learnt to adapt and embrace discomfort. That the only way to truly grow is to step out of your own comfort zone. From gruelling training sessions to juggling multiple leadership responsibilities and academic deadlines, I have learnt to be more self-disciplined and resilient. A true champion transforms pressure and fears into motivation for success, yet also staying grounded to his roots and showing humility to the people around him.”

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