Netball star Lim receives study boost
SEA Games netball gold medallist gets surprise boost
She is a straight-A student pursuing a double major in psychology and marketing at Murdoch University, through Kaplan Singapore.
And she helped raise one of the most cherished roars at the recently concluded SEA Games, when the Singapore netball team claimed gold for the first time.
Only 20, local netball star Kimberly Lim seems to have it all.
But what many might not know is that she comes from a single-parent family and has been juggling her studies and national training while working a part-time job at Deloitte, where she is an administrative assistant.
Now, the SEA Games gold medallist no longer needs to worry about paying for her education.
Yesterday, Kaplan Singapore surprised the youngster with a fully paid scholarship for the rest of her university studies to recognise her achievements on and off the netball court.
The scholarship is worth $32,000.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Leon Choong, president of Kaplan Singapore, said: "I met Kimberly before the Games and found her to be a really grounded person.
"She chose a challenging programme of study on top of a tough training schedule. She is very disciplined and is a great role model.
"I think she has given the nation much more than what we're supporting her with."
Lim and her mother, Ginny Lau, were surprised at the news of the scholarship.
"I'm very honoured," the 20-year-old said.
"This will go a long way in helping me to do what I want to do in future.
"I hope to maintain a distinction average so I can go on to my honours year, then hopefully move on to the Murdoch campus in Perth and complete a Master's in Psychology.
"I want to give back to society by specialising in sports psychology.
"I also want to help the netball community to increase awareness of the sport."
Lim credits her mum for keeping her going.
"She has taught me what I need to have within myself in order to go for what I want.
"Whenever I thought of giving up, she always told me that she believed in me. That always gave me the courage to go on."
Lau, 50, has always supported her daughter's sporting ambition.
"One of our main concerns when Kimberly was applying for a place in the Singapore Sports School was how to afford the fees," she said.
"But I told her not to worry about it and to try her best to secure a place first."
"I am a former netball player so I could identify the passion for the sport in Kimberly very early on, and I understood it."
Lim, who plays wing attack and centre in the national team, graduated from the Sports School in 2010.
The scholarship covers the netballer's tuition fees and textbook costs, easing the pressure on Lim and her mum.
"I'm actually holding back my tears of joy right now," Lau laughed.
"I am really very thankful for this."
By the numbers
$32K: Kaplan Singapore have sponsored national netball player Kimberly Lim's education to the tune or $32,000. The scholarship covers Kimberly's tuition fees and textbook costs.
More support for athletes needed
Kaplan Singapore's award of a scholarship to netball international Kimberly Lim is a huge boost for sport in the country.
The nation is riding on a high after the recently concluded SEA Games in Singapore, which saw tremendous support for local athletes and a record gold medal haul (84) for the hosts.
There is hope that this will ignite a sports culture in Singapore, with local athletes being given the support and opportunities they need to ensure their talent is realised.
Leon Choong (above), president of Kaplan Singapore, believes this is an essential part of being a developed country.
"I hope this will show athletes who are giving their best to the nation that there are people and organisations who are supporting them," he said.
"This is something that is done in all developed countries and Singapore should be no exception.
"We're a merit-based society and I think a lot of people understand that paper qualifications are important.
"But there is more than one way of measuring success...
"We hope this will inspire other schools to do similar things."