SINGAPORE - Water-polo player Sean Ang has heard the naysayers repeat it over and over again: You are better off hitting the books, and not the pool.
Each time, they argue that it makes no sense to give up a place in a reputable junior college to pursue a sport that is not even enjoying a high profile in Singapore.
But none of that could stop the 17-year-old from choosing sport over studies - at least for now.
Sean withdrew from Anglo-Chinese Junior College earlier this month and will train full time until the SEA Games in Myanmar in December, after which he intends to apply for a place in a local polytechnic.
"A lot of people told me I should continue my studies because water polo is not going to take me anywhere," said Sean, who is competing in both the ongoing Asian Youth Water Polo Championships and the senior edition that starts on Tuesday.
"I know playing water polo is probably not what I can do as a career. It's more of my passion and what I want to do right now."
Juggling a hefty workload in junior college as well as training with the school and national teams began to take its toll on Sean before the first half of this year was up.
He said: "By the time I was done with school, school training and then national training, it would be almost 11pm.