Feb 24, 2018
THE broad spectrum of courses, including relatively niche sports-related ones, offered by the Singapore Institute of Management Global Education (SIM GE) drew national athlete Madeleine Ong to enrol in the private educational institution.
“As an athlete, I was exposed to different parts of the sport industry and felt that my experiences could help me with my future studies,” she says.
As the institution values her strong sports background, she was offered a bond-free scholarship. It covers all course, examination and other compulsory fees, and provides a book allowance.
The 24-year-old national archer is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Sports Studies and Marketing at SIM GE, a degree developed and awarded by the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom. She will graduate in August.
It is open to A-level and polytechnic diploma holders who want to build a career in the sports industry and aims to provide them with the knowledge, understanding of sports policy, planning and management skills to deliver sporting opportunities to the community.
Lectures and tutorials are planned to give students sufficient time to complete their assignments and for training.
Small-group tutorials allow hands-on learning and students get to apply the theories that they have learnt in real-life situations.
One module that especially stood out to Ms Ong was Sports Work Experience. Students visited the Singapore Sport Institute and toured facilities provided for national athletes. They also got to attend talks by professional athletes.
A highlight of Ms Ong’s sporting history since taking up archery in secondary school in 2011 was her first overseas competition at the Asian Grand Prix in Taiwan in 2014.
It’s like a baptism by fire as she had to compete against the former world champion of women’s compound archery, Choi Bo Min.
Balancing her sporting career and studies is a challenge.
Early last year, she had to juggle an internship at Salt & Light Archery and her assignments while training to qualify for the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur and the World Universiade Games in Taiwan.
“It was challenging and stressful at times, especially approaching the exam period. But I have learnt how to be more disciplined and to take charge of my life,” she says.
She appreciates her helpful classmates who share notes with her so that she does not fall behind in her studies. Her lecturers are understanding too.
“Before I started my degree, I worried whether my sporting career would be compromised. Thankfully, the academic staff are very supportive and understanding.
They make exceptions for me to go on leave to compete overseas,” she says.
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Feb 24, 2018.