The NUS Sports Scholarship offers Li Zhengxi the rare opportunity to pursue both of his distinct passions – badminton and law.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO PURSUE YOUR COURSE OF STUDY AT NUS?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a judge, so I somewhat already knew that I had an interest in studying law. In my secondary school days, I was given the opportunity to experience a job-shadowing programme at a law firm and my interest grew from there. Eventually, I thought that studying law was a practical and useful choice because whatever I learned could be applied to my future job and daily life. It also appealed to me more than abstract formulas or calculations.
WHY DID YOU ACCEPT THE NUS SPORTS SCHOLARSHIP?
The NUS Sports Scholarship eased the financial burden on me and my family, while allowing me to continue pursuing my interest in badminton, so accepting it was a no-brainer. It also came at a time when I was doing badminton coaching on the side, so it felt good to be a role model to my badminton students, to show them that it is possible to balance both studies and sports.
WHAT WAS THE SELECTION PROCESS LIKE?
Initially, I had to complete a write-up about my personal qualities and achievements. Given that I knew I was mainly aiming for the Sports Scholarship, I focused my write-up on my sporting career and talked at length about the lessons I learned from sport. After that, I was interviewed by a panel of eight. The questions asked were mainly about how I could contribute to the NUS community through sports, and about sporting ethics and etiquette. The results of the interview were released shortly afterwards.
WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WERE AWARDED THE SCHOLARSHIP, AND WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES A SCHOLAR SHOULD POSSESS?
I gave my honest two cents’ worth on sporting issues and the qualities that all athletes should possess. A scholar should always strive to be the best he or she can be, and remember to give back to the community to help develop and nurture others. Other values such as integrity are a given.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TAKING UP THE NUS SPORTS SCHOLARSHIP?
I do not have to worry at all about my tuition fees or any other school-related finances, because they are all covered by the scholarship. The scholarship provides annual allowances as well, so that takes care of my day-to-day expenses. The NUS Sports Scholarship in particular requires me to represent NUS every semester in my sport, so it pushes me to train and keep fit, and the by-product of it is that I get to enjoy competing at the tertiary level. Furthermore, I get to join workshops such as sports taping and stretching organised by the Sports Office, and the scholarship gives me more exposure to extra-curricular/leadership activities throughout the year.
HOW HAS YOUR NUS EXPERIENCE BEEN, AND WHAT PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU PARTICIPATED IN SO FAR?
In terms of sports, I have represented NUS in four badminton competitions over the past year, including the annual Singapore University Games (SUniG) and Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic Games (IVP Games). The NUS varsity badminton team also organised the inaugural NUS Badminton Challenge in early 2019. The tournament was open to all NUS students and staff, aiming to increase exposure to badminton as part of the movement to increase participation in sporting activities at NUS. Other sports-related activities included the Sports Roadshow and match support for TeamNUS.
NUS Sports Scholarship
Now: Year 2 Law
From: Raffles Institution