WHEN national shooter Cherlyn Ng received the results of her A-level preliminary exam last year, she wondered if she had paid a heavy price for her commitment to sport.
The air rifle specialist from Raffles Junior College managed just a C average - way below what her classmates received.
'I panicked,' she said. 'I knew I had to work harder from then on.'
But the 18-year-old can rest easy now. When the results for the real McCoy were released yesterday, she hit the bull's eye, scoring As in the General Paper, Chemistry, Biology, Economics and Mathematics.
Cherlyn, who won a silver in the 10m air rifle event at the South-east Asia Shooting Championships in 2004, took two months off her gruelling training schedule last year to bury herself in her books.
She said: 'I really have to thank my teachers - they gave me help when I needed it and gave me more time to complete my assignments. My coaches were also understanding when I had to skip training to study.'
Cherlyn's next targets: to study law or business at the National University of Singapore and win a medal at next year's South-east Asia Games.
National golfer Koh Sock Hwee was another student athlete who successfully juggled school and sport.
Sock Hwee, 18, who finished second in the team event at the Asean Schools Golf Competition in 2006 and represented Singapore at the 2005 SEA Games where she finished fourth in the team event, scored four Bs and a C.
The golfer, who was from Victoria Junior College, said she would not have passed without the help of her teachers and classmates.
'My friends kept notes for me, and I got intensive maths tutoring from my teachers after school hours,' said Sock Hwee, who is rated as one of Singapore's rising stars in women's golf.
She added: 'I lost a lot of sleep last year, but it was for a good reason. I didn't want to lose out in golf, and I didn't want to lose out in studies.'
One national athlete who was disappointed by his performance was national Laser sailor Calvin Lim, 18.
He scored one A and three Bs.
'I was hoping for a few more As, to be honest,' said Calvin, who was also from VJC. He added that he will be taking a break from sailing to do national service. 'I will think about my future in sports when the time comes.'
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Mar 8, 2008