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Class Of 2013 Urged To Give Back To Community

In a few months, the Class of 2013 will graduate from Singapore Sports School and move on to begin their post-secondary education. The onus will be on them to continue to exemplify the School’s core values of Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Excellence, and give back to their parents, to School, to society and to country. A daunting task perhaps, but they will be encouraged by the examples of Sports School alumni who have shone after they have graduated.

In her speech at Graduation 2013 on 30 September, Principal Deborah Tan cited four alumni “who took the less trodden path of the Sports School and who have emerged sterling.”

The four are Scott Ang Yiqiang (Class of 2009/Swimming Academy) who was presented the President Scholarship in August 2013 and will go on to read Law at University of Cambridge; Matthew Goh Yujie (Class of 2007/Track and Field Academy) who was presented with the “Standard Chartered Best First Year Business Student Award” for being the most outstanding first-year Bachelor of Business Management student, and the “OCBC Outstanding Student Award” at Singapore Management University; Jasvinderpal Singh s/o Kuldeep Singh (Class of 2011/Football Academy), a Ngee Ann Polytechnic Engineering Scholar with a three-semester cumulative GPA of 3.96 out of 4, and a starting 11 with S-League club Tanjong Pagar United FC’s Prime League team; as well as Brandon Lee Bing Xiang, who has been named on the “Republic Polytechnic’s Academic Roll of Honour” and presented with the “Republic Polytechnic Academic Merit Award” three years in a row.

Scott, Matthew, Jasvinderpal and Brandon were held up as shining examples whose achievements the Class of 2013 should strive to emulate and in time to come, become role models themselves for their juniors.

Besides academic achievements, all of them have demonstrated leadership qualities and served the community with a heart, both at home and abroad.

“There will come a time when the younger ones will look at you as mentors. The challenge for all of us here this evening, especially the graduates, is to then say ‘Do what I do and not do what I say’. Because practising what you preach is something that is values in action for the rest of our lives and it is the most important takeaway that I would like you to receive this evening,” said guest-of-honour, Associate Professor Ong Siow Heng, Director, Centre for Scholars’ Development at Singapore Management University, and member of Sports School’s Board of Directors.

Dr Ong cited the example of Tan Sri Dato’ Lee Kong Chian, who came to Singapore to be a teacher and later, became Southeast Asia’s Rubber and Pineapple King. His family was not at all well-off, but after earning their riches, contributed greatly back to the community. In many education institutions, the name, “Lee Kong Chian” marks halls and faculties, for example, The Lee Kong Chian School of Business at SMU, The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University.

The Class of 2013 already has champions in their ranks, like badminton player Liang Xiaoyu, who was named The Moo Soon Chong Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year 2012 (Female). Xiaoyu, the 2012 national badminton champion, is currently World No. 10 in the Badminton World Federation Junior Rankings and World No. 92 in the Badminton World Federation Women’s Rankings. Another outstanding member amongst this graduating class is bowler Darren Ong Wei Siong, who was named Best School Boy in Tenpin Bowling for the second year in a row at the National Colours Awards.

This year’s graduating batch of 101 student-athletes also includes the first batch of student-athletes embarking on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which will begin teaching at Sports School in January 2014.

Even as they attended their last official function as Sports School student-athletes, the Class of 2013 will no doubt take the words of Students’ Council President Audrey Lim Jia Min to heart.

“We constantly push ourselves to raise the bar. Initially, we worried about other competitors, but soon we became our own competition. We yearned to beat our Personal Best and very often had the satisfaction of doing so. We want the best of both worlds — to excel academically, and in our sporting fields.

“In our own ways, we jumped over hurdles we never imagined we could and we proved to ourselves that hard work and training will reap its rewards. So I dare say confidently, that whatever remaining lemons life throw at us, I believe that our Sports School experience has prepared us for them with assurance, confidence and a relentless pursuit to be the best that we can be. I know that we can handle it,” said Audrey in her graduation speech. 
Click here for Principal's Speech 
Click here for Students' Council President's Speech