An aspiring physiotherapist and leader as well, Melissa Yee doesn’t do things by halves when it comes to sports.
Melissa Yee’s zest for sports is indomitable. Her accolades since her secondary school years serve as a testament – from clinching podium finishes in 2010 for Taekwondo and dragon-boating, to her recent feat in the 2022 Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) games, winning first in both discus and shot-put categories.
She has also been flying the Singapore flag high as a national rugby player since 2016. Little wonder the 24-year-old Year 4 Physiotherapy undergraduate is admired by her peers and rivals in the sporting arena.
Melissa Yee has tried many sports, with Track and Field as her biggest passion. (Photo: Melissa Yee)
Not A One-Man Show
Melissa admits she hasn’t been alone in her journey to sporting and academic excellence. She credits the SIT Student Life Division (SLD) for supporting her passion. Following her recent achievement in IVP, she was selected to represent Singapore in the ASEAN University Games, where she clinched third place in the discus and shot-put events.
Currently, while training hard for her upcoming games, Melissa is doing her clinical placements, attending to patients in various hospitals and medical facilities in Singapore. All of these, in addition to managing SIT’s Track and Field Club, which she built from scratch with a few of her schoolmates a few years ago. She confessed that it isn’t a walk in the park to juggle these responsibilities in equal measure.
“Thankfully, there has been much support from SLD – they facilitated the paperwork for the setting up of the Track and Field Club and offered funds for us to pull the entire thing off. Additionally, if I had to go overseas for my sports competitions, SLD offered subsidies and helped arrange my schedule,” Melissa shared.
Melissa at the ASEAN University Games 2022 held in Thailand in August. (Photo: Melissa Yee)
The Vice-Captain of the Track and Field Club continuously seeks opportunities to encourage fellow schoolmates to participate in sports. Vouching for SLD’s commitment to supporting students’ interests, she also hopes to witness more students assume leadership roles through the university’s clubs and societies.
She added, “These experiences would be beneficial when one eventually enters the workforce. SIT conducts workshops that allow student leaders to better understand their characters and personalities, which could help us make better workplace judgements, for instance.”
In fact, she is already putting what she has learnt to the test – all thanks to the clinical placements that form part of her academic curriculum in SIT. She is currently attached to Changi General Hospital.
“What I love most about the clinical placements so far is the opportunity to peek at my future job. Handling patients in hospitals is an eye-opening and valuable experience for me as a student,” said Melissa. She believes this is the best time for her to learn from her own mistakes in a work setting, as the repercussions of making blunders as a full-fledged physiotherapist could be heavier.
End Goal in Mind
While she has meddled in a wide range of sports since she was young, she lives life with an end goal – to become a successful and highly respected physiotherapist. That is why she dedicates most of her time to Track and Field, admitting that it is the least risky sport she has tried, compared with Taekwondo and rugby. It is necessary to be able-bodied if one wishes to pursue a career as a physiotherapist.
Melissa (back row, with Singapore flag) came in third in the discus and shot-put events at the ASEAN University Games. (Photo: Melissa Yee)
That said, Melissa regards her participation in Track and Field as a way to give back to society. She reminisced, “While I was in polytechnic and secondary school, many people encouraged me to try the sport. Now, it is my turn to introduce more people to the sport.”
Melissa will represent Singapore at the upcoming SEA Games in Cambodia in 2023.