September 27, 2010

Running Away from the Gold Medal


'We have a moral obligation to prevent the exploitation of high school students... When the game ends and the glory fades, the educated students will be the ultimate winners.'
-Marina Chin, Principal of Bukit Jalil Sports School and former sportswoman.

I went to this seminar 'SUKAN UNTUK SEMUA' last Thursday and Marina Chin was one of the speakers. Okay, honestly, I was actually forced to go to this talk. So I didn't really plan on focusing on the talk at all. But because I was sitting at the FRONT row, I had to focus. Or at least pretend to focus. Heh.

But for this talk... 100% focus okay! Er, well... Maybe 99%... Distractions, distractions!

Marina Chin was a famous sportswoman during the early 70s, in sprinting and hurdling basically. She was Malaysia's fastest woman sprinter that time and now, she 's the principal of the famous sports school in Malaysia, Bukit Jalil Sports School.


She gave a talk on the effect of sports in academic and vice versa. She said that no matter how great you are in sports, academic still plays an important role in our lives. That's certainly one great news for me.

"...When the game ends and the glory fades, the educated students will be the ultimate winners."

I was inspired.
You see, being a sports science student, I must admit I do felt a bit inferior as compared to my other classmates; I am no athlete material. My classmates, and of course, coursemates are those national and international athletes. They always wear those t-shirts with the word MALAYSIA written on it.
See? They represented the country. INTERNATIONAL level, okay!

While this girl, on the other hand only have her debate t-shirts. Well, I represented my university in debate tournaments... It is a battle too, you know. A battle of the brains, and mouth (who can gave out the most points in such a limited time). Hahah. And yes, my two ZOO NEGARA t-shirts, because I used to work in the zoo. Heh. But that's it.

Oh oh, wait! I do have this one SAF (Sukan Antara Fakulti) t-shirt, in which I represented my faculty in swimming. That's one BIG achievement. Especially when I was told to replace a friend in such a short notice. I ended in the 5th place out of 8 participants. And FYI, the difference between the 4th place and I was only 1 second! One sweaty second. Not that bad, not that bad at all... Especially when I did not have enough practice. I repeat, not enough practice. Hah! Yes, do hate me for being proud of this tiny achievement. I admit, I certainly AM proud. (I refused to wear the t-shirt to class though as it's way too big... It seems that they expected ALL athletes to be big.)

I do look up on professional athletes. Those who always excel and win every single game they competed in. Datuk Nicol David, Datuk Lee Chong Wei... Both of them, I do respect them for their achievements. But as Marina Chin said, when all the glory fades, we will be forgotten. You see, if Marina Chin is not a principal today, I certainly wouldn't be aware of her past achievements. Okay, you may think because I'm not that into sports that's why I didn't know her... Heh. Guess what? Even her students in the sports school didn't know she was once Malaysia's famous sportswoman.

And there's this one true story she told us. She met her friend, who once won Gold medals in the Olympics, now being a cleaner. Okay, do take note of that.
Where's our path without education?

I wasn't saying sports isn't good at all. But sports without education is just that; not good enough. It would be great if we can excel in both. There is proof though that those who are good in sports can also excel in their studies. Basically because they are healthy and have a fit body. And when they have a fit body, it equals to less possibility of getting sick. And yup, so there goes.

"I may not be an athlete, but I can help people with my knowledge on sports."
These were my last words to the panels during the interview session. And yes, here I am, a sports science student. *happy!* And yes, still struggling to get used to all those science terms.
Muscles, nerves, hormones...

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