Athletics: National sprinter Shanti Pereira first recipient of SMU's Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship

National athlete Shanti Pereira (right) was named on March 28, 2017, the first recipient of the Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship, offered by the Singapore Management University (SMU). The scholarship is named after para-swimmer Yip (left), who won two gold me
National athlete Shanti Pereira (right) was named on March 28, 2017, the first recipient of the Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship, offered by the Singapore Management University (SMU). The scholarship is named after para-swimmer Yip (left), who won two gold medals at last year's Rio Paralympics. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - National athlete Shanti Pereira was on Tuesday (March 28) named the first recipient of the Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship, offered by the Singapore Management University (SMU).

The 20-year-old Shanti recently graduated from Republic Polytechnic and she will enrol at SMU to study accountancy in August.

The scholarship is named after the para-swimmer who won two gold medals at last year's Rio Paralympics. Yip, 25, is completing her final semester at SMU as a social science undergraduate.

Shanti won the 200m gold at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore and became the first female Singaporean sprinter to do so since Glory Barnabas in 1973.

She will skip the first two weeks of her first term at SMU because she will be compete at the Aug 19-31 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Under the bond-free scholarship which was launched last December, Shanti will receive a full waiver of tuition fees for four years, as well as an allowance of up to $12,000.

This can be used for leadership and personal development programmes, student exchanges, and school study missions.

It also opens up the possibility for Shanti to apply for an exchange programme at the University of Oregon, a prestigious college well known for its athletics programme.

The Ducks have produced several Olympic and world champions, including current decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton of the United States while 2015 SEA Games marathon champion Soh Rui Yong recently graduated from the university.

Shanti said SMU's flexibility in allowing student-athletes juggle sports and studies will benefit her. She added: "It makes me excited and I feel honoured to receive a scholarship named after Pin Xiu - she's awesome. I definitely want to embody the kind of spirit and (emulate her), who is both a good student and an athlete.

"I'm excited to study hard instead of having to be stressed out about not meeting deadlines."

She is also looking forward to the prospect of going on exchange to Oregon. She said: "It's a good way to enhance my track performance, so that's a good way the school is supporting me in."