Share this
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Email

Feature

Sport the difference

Top-notch sports facilities and understanding professors help two NTU sports champs win big
by Tan Yo-Hinn

  • NTU student and Singapore national swimmer Amanda Lim
    PHOTO: ALVIN TOH
  • NTU student and Singapore national swimmer Amanda Lim
    PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES © SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDING LIMITED. PERMISSION REQUIRED FOR REPRODUCTION
  • NTU student and Singapore national swimmer Amanda Lim posing in swimsuit
  • NTU student and national athlete Pradeep Ravichandran working out at the gym at Binjai Hall
    PHOTO: VINCENT SIOW
  • NTU student and national athlete Pradeep Ravichandran working out at the gym at Binjai Hall
    PHOTO: VINCENT SIOW
  • NTU student and national athlete Pradeep Ravichandran working out at the gym at Binjai Hall
    PHOTO: VINCENT SIOW

For serious athletes like Amanda Lim and Pradeep Ravichandran, balancing school and sports is like walking a time-management tightrope.

“But being able to use some of the best sports facilities helps!” says Pradeep, singling out the new NTU stadium and Queenax Functional Trainer.

Housed in the new gym at Binjai Hall, the Queenax Functional Trainer is more likely to be found in commercial gyms. The modular system is so flexible that apart from weights and resistance training, it can even accommodate an anti-gravity yoga class for 12 people.

“It looks amazing! I believe it’s a huge draw for students. It’s very motivating to work out in a gym that is so new and modern,” says Pradeep, a third-year Materials Science & Engineering student who represented Singapore at last year’s ASEAN University Games in football.

NTU student and Singapore national swimmer Amanda Lim posing with her medals

Amanda, a multiple Southeast Asian Games swimming champion, adds: “There are so many ways we can use the technology and equipment, and it’s always enjoyable sweating it out with friends.”

Besides good facilities, sporting champs also need to have understanding professors.

Amanda, who will graduate later this year, explains: “NTU is definitely the No.1 destination for those looking to balance sports and studies. Here, we’re not left to sink or swim. So many professors have helped me every step of the way. They understand the difficulties I face as a national swimmer. I just can’t possibly name or thank all of them!”

Amanda studies Sport Science and Management, a niche undergraduate programme in NTU. She adds: “When I return from overseas competitions, my professors are just a phone call away. The next thing I know, I’ll be in my professor’s office going through what I missed or need to know.”

NTU student and national athlete Pradeep Ravichandran working out at the gym at Binjai Hall

Pradeep, who is in the varsity football team, admits he has had to skip classes to attend training. “The professors are very friendly and don’t scold you for that. Instead, they make the effort to help you catch up.”

Pradeep has managed to have a ball here, with or without his football boots. He explains: “Joining NTU was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everyone was very welcoming and encouraged me to try out different sports, so I also had a go at sepak takraw, softball and track and field.”

Amanda believes being in the varsity swim team has taught her more about the importance of teamwork. Playing for NTU’s football team has been similarly enriching for Pradeep, who has made many new friends outside of his course.

He will have no problem hitting the Queenax system again to train for future matches, since NTU’s mega campus gym is open from 7am to 10pm daily, even on public holidays.