Sports 24 Nov 2023

From Dojo to Field: The triumphs and tribulations of a student athlete

By CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications

Sahil is a grade 7 student athlete whose passion for sports began at the tender age of 6. Navigating Spartan Race obstacles with muddy shoes, he was just a kid enjoying the thrill of conquering challenges year after year. Little did he know, those early adventures would set the stage for a diverse sporting journey that would take him from taekwondo mats to the football field on a national level.

“For me, physical training is a form of education,” says Sahil, “and this helps me develop life skills.”

Thriving as a dual-sport athlete

In school, Sahil explored his passions in both taekwondo and football. His dedication and balanced training schedule led him to excel in both sports. Recently, Sahil clinched a taekwondo bronze medal at the National Kyorugi Competition. He also emerged as the top scorer in football for the Puma Youth Champions League and ACSIS Season 3 in 2022.

Reflecting on the challenges inherent in competitive sports, Sahil acknowledges the stress and anxiety that accompany it. In his own words, "Overcoming fear is one of the most important aspects". Even as he confronts the uncertainties of competition, Sahil doesn't see competing against athletes from various schools as merely a challenge; instead, he considers it an opportunity to observe and learn from top athletes.

Nurturing resilience from young

Sahil’s yearly participation in the Spartan Race since 6 years old has not been the easiest journey. In 2018, Sahil had a swollen ankle from a minor accident, and was contemplating if he should continue the race. At that moment, he recalled the encouragement from CIS teachers to embrace risk and bravery, motivating him to press on.

Amidst the physical strain, the experience revealed resilience within him. The lesson he learned was simple yet profound: “It taught me that instead of looking at the entire journey, if I take one step at a time, I can achieve everything” said Sahil, “It made me aware that with willpower, I can overcome obstacles.” 

The key to success

Sahil emphasises that confidence is a crucial trait for an athlete. This, coupled with constructive feedback from both his coaches and teachers from CIS, allows him to focus on his individual development. As Sahil puts it, "In such an encouraging environment, we tend to perform at our best".

His key to success, though, lies in leveraging the unique skills cultivated in each sport to enhance his overall performance. He says, "Taekwondo helps me with balance and movement, which are essential for football." The interplay between both sports, and its contribution to the improvement of the other, makes him stand out from the crowd.

Wisdom to fuel your journey

“The bigger your dreams are the harder it will be to achieve them. Allow yourself to fail, get up and try again. You will need support from your family, friends, and teachers. Listen to their advice and enjoy your journey," shares Sahil.

We’re so happy for you, Sahil. We hope that your resilience and hard work will take you to greater heights in sports and beyond!