Sports School launches new diploma programme
New Diploma in Business Studies programme will allow greater training flexibility
In a bid to give student-athletes more academic options, the Singapore Sports School will launch a Diploma in Business Studies programme in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
This is the school's second polytechnic tie-up, after it launched the Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management (DSLM) in partnership with Republic Polytechnic six years ago.
Sports School principal Tan Teck Hock said the new through-train programme will complement other similar programmes already offered by the school.
"Quite a number of our athletes have indicated that their interest lies in going into something a little bit more general," Tan said, at the signing ceremony held at Sports School yesterday.
"They want to develop certain skills like entrepreneurship and innovation, and we took into consideration the possible career options for our students in the future."
The three-year programme, which will accept its first batch of students in January next year, will comprise business management and entrepreneurship modules.
Student athletes can complete one module per month for greater training flexibility and take a leave of absence for competitions.
Unlike in the DSLM, all classes are conducted at the Sports School.
Fifteen Sports School students have been accepted into the new programme, which is also open to students from mainstream schools.
But the cohort size will be capped at 25 to "cater to our student athletes first", Tan revealed. "There's always a sports and academic criteria in the admissions; we look at those who have made it to minimally the national youth squad or those knocking on the door," he said.
"This course couples itself very well with the kind of training that National Sports Associations may provide at this particular stage of their sports development."
Sports School students, who will be part of the pioneer batch of Diploma in Business Studies students next year, welcomed the addition.
National fencer Jefferson Cheong, 16, said: "It provides a nice balance in the schedule - the course allows us to study from 12pm to 3pm, and then self-study in the evening.
"There's a lot of responsibility and flexibility and, with the short study time, I can fit in more training to enhance my sporting performance."
National rhythmic gymnast Edlyn Ho, 17, said the course offers good career prospects.
"I would like to set up a gym club so I can invest my skills and knowledge in the business," she said.
Tan, however, downplayed the possibility of partnering more polytechnics in the near future, saying students have enough academic options to choose from.
"Of course, there may be more mainstream admissions in the years to come as more student athletes get to know about these pathways, so we don't rule out that possibility," he noted.
With regard to tie-ups with universities, Tan said the school will assist its students in discretionary admissions.
Its partnership with the Auckland University of Technology to offer the Diploma in Sports Management and Exercise Science ended in 2012.
"In terms of sports at the highest level, and the training and commitment that you have to put in, you can't have your cake and eat it all the time," he said.
"If an athlete narrowly missed the cut-off point, we believe that we can get in touch with the admissions office and make a representation."