Do College Athletes in Competitive Sports Tend to Exhibit Lower Academic Performance?
Do college athletes in competitive sports tend to exhibit lower academic performance? Chew Yiwei, Malaysia diver – thinks otherwise.
You may have heard this stereotype before, but is it really true?
College athletes in competitive sports tend to exhibit lower academic performance.
Chew Yiwei, 25, Malaysia’s national diver, has proved the stereotype wrong.
According to researchers at the Brown Center on Education Policy, a commitment to college sports does not have to translate into compromised academic performance. Although these students often feel substantial pressure to perform both on the field and in the classroom, the benefits of athletic endeavors seem to counterbalance the challenges they present. Nevertheless, many youth athletes become increasingly stressed as they strive to maintain academic eligibility while advancing through their school years.
The Selangor-born diver, nicknamed Chewy, was first introduced to swimming by his coach - Yao Fu Ling, a coach at Pusat Akuatik Darul Ehsan (PADE), at the tender age of 12. Since then, swimming while studying has provided him with a parallel growth curve in sports and cognitive development.
Currently pursuing a Diploma in Computer Science at Imperium International College, the bronze medalist of the 3m springboard at the 2018 Asian Games and 2014 Male Athlete of the Year for the state of Selangor in Malaysia has one goal in mind – to complete his internship and graduate before the Tokyo Olympics this year.
His last medal was at the 2019 SEA Games, in which he received gold for the synchronized 3m springboard event.
“I had training after class daily and did my assignments at night. There was still time on weekends to hang out with friends and do what I love. I enjoyed spending time with my friends, and catching up on chores,” shared Yiwei, who secured a scholarship that waived 100% of his tuition fees from Imperium International College.
“Sometimes we travel to other countries for competitions and sometimes we host other fellow competitors here. Despite victories and losses, those moments spent with my teammates during training or when we participated in international competitions such as the World Championships and Commonwealth Games are always precious,” said Yiwei, who is now completing his internship as a software engineer.
Sharing about his appendicitis surgery mid last year, the usually simple procedure turned out to be three days of anguish and pain for him as he had to undergo a Covid-19 test first before the doctors could operate on him at the Shah Alam Hospital. He was allowed to start practicing again in June and is currently training under the Quarantine Based Approach in Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN), Bukit Jalil and has his sights set on qualifying for the 3m springboard individual and the 3m springboard synchro (with Ooi Tze Liang) events for the Tokyo Olympics.
When asked if there was anything that he needed to catch up on after recovering from his surgery, Yiwei explained, “I was eager to get back to my training of keeping in shape to be ready when the sporting calendar resume.”
“I do hope to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and win a gold medal one day and make Malaysia proud!” said the aspiring young sportsman.
Looking back on his journey to become an established athlete and at the same time completing his tertiary education, Yiwei expressed his gratitude to Imperium International College by saying, “Imperium provided me with a conducive teaching and learning environment as well as lecturers who were supportive and involved throughout my academic journey. I became more confident because they were equally or even more invested in ensuring that I was performing well academically. I also received a full scholarship from Imperium International Collee in which helped me in my studies.”
He also conveyed his immense gratitude to his parents whom he described as his “pillars of strength” for they had helped and supported him throughout his journey. Amidst the current pandemic, Yiwei is a firm believer that situations may change but humans are always bold enough to adapt to whatever that comes their way.
He also called on for students to pursue in their goals and to not be afraid of changes to realize their dreams.