He upgrades himself to better train Singapore’s athletes
Sport scientist Danny Lum, who used to be 'lazy', will be getting his PhD at the end of the year
He was an average student with a diploma in chemical engineering, but today he helps Singapore's national athletes improve as a sport scientist.
Looking back at his time in primary school, Mr Danny Lum described himself as "lazy" and someone who was not interested in studying.
Speaking to The New Paper recently, the 39-year-old said: "The only goal back then was to pass the exams, so I would not get a scolding from my mother."
After completing his national service, Mr Lum pursued a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) in Australia and became "very self-motivated", graduating in 2008.
He said: "There was a high level of intrinsic motivation to just keep reading up and learning more about how the human body works and adapts to different types of stressors."
He freelanced as a personal trainer in Australia for a year, before landing a job as an exercise scientist at the Ministry of Defence in 2010.
Mr Lum had no intention to further his studies, but a former colleague who completed his master's at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NIE NTU, Singapore), encouraged him, saying the degree was a value-add to his work.
His ex-colleague urged him take up a Master of Science (Exercise and Sports Studies) at NIE NTU, Singapore in 2012.
Mr Lum said: "I chose NIE Singapore because it is the only local university that provides graduate degrees for sports science."
Despite graduating in 2016 and already working at Sport Singapore as a sport scientist, his academic journey was still not over yet.
Mr Lum enrolled in NIE again in 2018 with the aim of earning a PhD in the area of Exercise and Sports Science, focusing on sports physiology and biomechanics, after he was promoted to lead the strength and conditioning team at Sport Singapore in 2017.
He wanted to "upgrade" himself.
He said: "My professors were really helpful and provided me with a supportive environment. Undergoing intensive literature reviews and performing experimental research during my master's and PhD studies allowed me to gain valuable knowledge to better train our athletes."
He was awarded the Dean's Commendation for Research twice for two of his PhD publications and will be graduating at the end of this year.
As NIE is an autonomous institute of NTU, Mr Lum is glad his qualification is recognised globally.
He encourages those who are interested in sports science, exercise science, public health and physical education to join NIE as it will be beneficial for their career and they will receive guidance from the well-established academic staff.
He said: "I managed to achieve (my goals) thanks to my professors and the promotion of my work by some like-minded strength conditioning professionals in other parts of the world."
Applications for admission to NIE's graduate programmes, such as PhD and Masters by Research, for the January 2022 intake is ongoing till July 30.
Visit www.nie.edu.sg/jan2022 for more information.