Good mix of sports and studies

SINGAPORE - Sports played a big role in the lives of two of this year's five President's Scholarship recipients.

Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship holder Scott Ang, 20, represented Singapore as a triathlete at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

The self-professed "late bloomer" scored a good but not stellar 233 for his Primary School Leaving Examination. More into competitive swimming than academic studies, he attended the Singapore Sports School till Secondary 4, training first as a swimmer and then a triathlete.

Asked why his focus shifted to academic studies from sports, Lieutenant Ang, who scored 44 out of 45 in his International Baccalaureate examination at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), where he was student council president, said: "I wanted to challenge myself on a new level."

The middle son of a deputy general manager of a lifting company and a housewife will study law at the University of Cambridge.

The only girl to receive the President's Scholarship this year, 19-year-old Stephanie Siow, also took part in the Youth Olympics, but as a sports announcer - and dressed in a stifling suit of the mascot Lyo.

A basketball player and student council vice-president at Raffles Institution, she and her younger brother had to help her father, a polytechnic lecturer, cook and keep house when their housewife mother was ill for three years.

Ms Siow hopes to gain a broader perspective from studying economics at Yale University on her Public Service Commission (PSC) Overseas Merit Scholarship. "We always say that we need to change our policies - but change them to what?" she said.

Another to be picked as a President's Scholar was Mr I Naishad Kai-ren, 19.

The eldest of three children of a businessman and an adjunct schoolteacher, he was student council president at Raffles Institution. He will do liberal arts at Brown University on a PSC Overseas Merit Scholarship.

Former Hwa Chong Institution student Timothy Yap, 19, who is on a Singapore Police Force Overseas Scholarship, was also named a President's Scholar.

His father works in IT security at a multinational bank and his mother is a housewife. He will study law at Oxford University.

Joining Inspector Yap at Oxford is the fifth President's Scholar, 19-year-old Inspector Joshua Ebenezer Jesudason, also a Singapore Police Force Overseas Scholarship holder.

A debater and class valedictorian at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, the only child of a managing director of a mental health consultancy and a social worker will study history and politics.

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