LOW SAN MAY, 17, who obtained eight A1s and one A2 in her “O” levels in 2002, could have gone on to any top junior college in Singapore last year. In fact, she was offered a place in Hwa Chong Junior College.
Yet, she chose a private school, St Francis Methodist School (SFMS), instead.
When asked why she chose SFMS while she could go on to an elite junior college, she was quick to reply that SFMS was able to give her the flexibility she needed to blend in her studies with her rigorous gymnastics training. For the lessons she missed, she was able to follow up with her teachers during her free time-table slots in the week.
‘I have no regrets whatsoever in choosing SFMS over other junior colleges’
She is happy that SFMS has enabled her to study at her own pace so that she could train more diligently in gymnastics. “I have no regrets whatsoever in choosing SFMS over other junior colleges,” she said.
San May is a top Singapore gymnast. She has won numerous medals at the national schools and international schools level. She was a five-time national colours award winner, and has higher aspirations.
San May: “Christian values and teachings are good influences.”
She won a silver medal in the gymnastics, women’s all-round event at the 2003 SEA Games in Hanoi just last December. And she aims to win more medals for Singapore in international gymnastics competitions.
Her high aspirations cannot be achieved without a price. She is still a student and has to train twice a day. In order to manage her time between sports and studies, she has to forego an easy life for the past 11 years. This is because she believes in excelling both in sports and studies.
San May is making good progress academically at SFMS. Having taken care of her studies, she has the peace of mind to focus on her training that is getting more and more demanding.
When asked her if she was aware that St Francis Methodist School is a Christian school and she would be exposed to Christian values and teachings, she replied that she had no problem with the Christian environment and influence in the school.
In fact, she does not mind attending chapel every week. Before she joined the school, she had very little knowledge of Christianity. As a Buddhist by family belief, she did not bother then to “go out of my way to learn about another religion”. So when she first heard the Christian Gospel, she was quite intrigued.
“I feel that the Christian values and teachings that the school talks about are good influences and I can accept them with an open mind,” she said.
Sadly, she announced that 2003 was her last year in competitive sports. Thus, the 2003 SEA Games was where she made her last appearance in competitive gymnastics. San May has given enough to gymnastics in her 11 years of involvement.
She plans to go abroad to pursue a degree in medicine. SFMS is confident that she will return to contribute to Singapore.
Carol Hoi is the Sports Secretary at St Francis Methodist School.