Scott Ang – A Singapore Son
Scott Ang Yiqiang receives the SAF Overseas Scholarship from Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence, on 30 July 2012. Photograph courtesy of Mindef.
The holistic experience provided by Singapore Sports School and its Boarding School has groomed Scott Ang Yiqiang into a scholar, a sportsman and a leader.
"The Singapore Sports School Programme has made me a more determined and disciplined person because of the tough training that I had to go through, as well as the challenge of managing my time between school, leadership commitments, and sports," said Scott, a graduate of 2009, who was recently presented the Public Service Commission Scholarship and Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship.
Scott received the PSC Scholarship from Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in-charge of the Singapore Civil Service, on 24 July 2012 and the SAF Overseas Scholarship from Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence, on 30 July 2012, to become the first student-athlete to be presented these two prestigious scholarships since the Sports School was established in 2004.
Scott was already a young man of confidence when he entered Sports School and the opportunities of leadership boosted his sureness.
"I could easily interact with people individually I started to gain more confidence in interacting with larger groups of people after I became a student leader in the school."
Scott, who represented Singapore in Triathlon at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, said training with the sole intention of becoming a champion never crossed his mind and regarding his teammates as friends instead of competitors gave him enjoyment.
"When you have enough passion for a sport, the notion of being champion becomes insignificant. I just wanted to be the best that I could be, the fastest that I could be, and whatever position I came in afterwards was unimportant. I enjoyed my sport and I made sure that I never let 'winning' become more important to me than my love for the sport itself.
"There was never any competition between my closest teammates and me, partly because our events never overlapped - my closest training partners were swimmers and runners, and I'm a triathlete - but more importantly, because we were friends before competitors. We simply trained together, enjoyed each other's company, and were happy when any one of us improved."
Scott said Boarding School furthered their friendship.
"Spending five days a week in Boarding School helped me build strong friendships with fellow athletes, especially my roommates and my training mates. We looked out for each other all the time, accompanied each other in tough trainings, and most importantly, carried each other along when any one of us was feeling down. They gave me the extra strength to carry on when it got difficult."
Scott is grateful to his mentors and teachers he said he worked hard because he did not want to disappoint them.
"In Secondary 4, I took a five-week long break from school for overseas competitions, and came back only a month before the GCE "O" Level examinations. My teachers gave me extra lessons and even tutored me personally on some occasions. I can't think of a single teacher there who did not go the extra mile to help me get on track for the exams. The support and flexibility in Sports School is amazing.
"Many of the teachers believed in me, and I did not want to let them down."
Scott scored 6 Distinctions and an L1R5 score of 7 points in his GCE "O" level examinations. He went to Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) to take up the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and scored 44 out of a possible 45 points in Year 6.
"I loved most of what I was doing, and even when I didn't, I tried to find ways to make it fun. Training, for instance, was my recreation, and studying - which I didn't enjoy all that much - was done with my friends and with many jogging breaks in between. That made studying long hours not just bearable, but productive. I planned my schedule around what I knew was effective for me, and because I was productive, I still had enough time for other things.
"If you set your mind to something, don't let anyone tell you that you can't make it. Believe in yourself, do something about it, never give up, and you will succeed."