Fencer Brian Cheong tops Sports School cohort
Brian's condition clearly does not hold him back
He recalled how he would be forced to take breaks from time to time while revising for his O-Level exams last year.
Singapore Sports School student Brian Cheong, 16, who suffers from Type I diabetes, had to rest to recharge his batteries before continuing his studies.
He worked hard and stuck at it, and his perseverance paid off when Brian emerged as the Sports School's top O-Level student yesterday.
A finalist in The New Paper School Sports Star Award last year, Brian scored nine points in eight subjects - English, Chinese, elementary and additional mathematics, combined humanities, history, pure biology and pure chemistry.
Speaking to TNP moments after he heard the news, a delighted Brian said: "I just got my results at the AVA Theatre where my principal asked me to stand up and take a bow.
"I was aiming for 12 points and I was very surprised to get a single-digit score, and stunned to find out (that I topped the cohort)."
All 42 of the school's O-Level candidates in this year's cohort qualified for polytechnics, while all but one student made it to junior colleges and centralised institutes.
Diagnosed with diabetes in late 2013 after an overseas tournament, Brian fought back to fitness and clinched an individual silver medal in the Schools National Fencing Championships last April.
He then took a break from fencing to focus on his studies, paying special attention to Chinese, his weakest subject.
"I have been failing Chinese since I was in Secondary One, but I put in extra effort for the O-Levels and my teachers also helped me a lot," he said.
"That was how I managed to pass the subject and got a C5."
The fencer had already secured a place at Meridian Junior College through Direct School Admission before the release of the O-Level results, and aims to continue fencing at the Pasir Ris-based school for the next two years.
He said: "Right now I am just focused on getting my form back, since I haven't really been training between the Schools Nationals and the O-Levels."
"I am aiming to get into the national youth team next year, since selections for this year's squad are already over," added Brian, who has resumed training with his club, Z Fencing.
Reflecting on his four years at the Sports School, he said: "It was a very enjoyable experience; I've become more responsible and disciplined, and I've gained quite a fair bit of perseverance.
"These are core values that will stay with me throughout my life."
I just got my results at the AVA Theatre where my principal asked me to stand up and take a bow. I was aiming for 12 points and I was very surprised to get a single-digit score, and stunned to find out (that I topped the cohort).
— Singapore Sports School student Brian Cheong