Article by: Josh Miller

Illustration by: Sung Hee Bae

Athletics- Sports Beyond School Teams - Week 6 (Sung Hee Bae)

Creating a balance between participating in any sport within school and finding time for daily homework is something that requires sacrifice and patience, along with commitment and love for one’s sport. For some students, their love for sports transcends the school walls, leading them to represent various clubs outside of the ISM sports programs, which sometimes includes national teams for some of our tremendously talented ISM students. The extra hours these students put towards mastering their crafts do not go unnoticed. Some of these students have shared how they keep school, sports, and their social lives in check with such gruelling training schedules.

One of the more obvious ways that playing sports outside of schools affects work includes finding the time and, particularly, the motivation to do school work after late training sessions. Senior and IASAS Tennis star and Philippine Tennis National Team player Stefan Suarez feels that “mastering a sport outside of school can cause major conflicts.” He shared that the long hours of extra training mean that he gets home late, feeling too tired to study, resulting in doing some work “that is not to the best of [his] ability.”

Similarly, sophomore and three-season athlete, and Philippine Women’s Touch Rugby National Team player Ali Preysler agrees that her “biggest struggle is finding time in between practices and school to catch up on missed work” following tournaments that may have caused her to be absent from school. Ali added that despite this, it is all worth it, and that her parents “have encouraged [her] to participate in activities outside of school” since she was young. Ali finds that her teachers are definitely a big help, as they are “supportive and extremely understanding” when she misses school for international tournaments and training.

Although ambition and passion for a sport has taken these students far already, many are still looking to push their limits through pursuing their sports even after high school. Junior Mark Winhoffer is looking to build upon his experiences from school, professional, and international soccer in hopes of getting noticed by college soccer administration; He specifically aspires to obtain a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Soccer Athletic Scholarship in the U.S., and such a feat is definitely not out of reach with experience from the Philippine national team backing Mark. He hopes that “all [his] hard work behind the scenes” will pay off one day and he will be able to play professionally. Mark also shared that despite the difficulties he faces balancing school work with all his other engagements, his “whole family is impressed at how [he] has made a successful career out of soccer so far,” and how this motivates him to keep moving forward.

Whether these students are playing for the school or for their country, there is no doubt that their awe-inspiring commitment is unwavering even in the face of hardship. For those who have goals beyond their high school sporting years, we hope in the future they will reap the fruit of their labors!

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