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Thursday November 29, 2012
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Teenagers from humble background who aspire to make it in life should look no further than national diver Pandelela Rinong Pamg for inspiration.
The 19-year-old Bidayuh girl, whose father worked as a contract labourer to raise the family, was announced as the inaugural recipient of the Universiti Malaya Olympian Fund, which entitles her to full scholarship, at their annual sports recognition ceremony yesterday.
Pandelela made the country proud when she became the first female Olympic medallist in the 10m platform competition in London in July.
She enrolled for a Sports Science course at UM recently.
Pandelela will enjoy fee exemption from tuition and accommodation as well as earn subsistence and training allowances worth RM30,000 a year.
The funding is from September this year until her graduation in February 2015.
Pandelela divides her time between lectures at the Sports Science faculty and daily training at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil.
The UM Olympian Fund was initiated to provide encouragement to athletes who excel in sports and have good potential for further academic studies at the university.
The scholarship will be made available to all athletes who win a medal in Olympic competition and intend to pursue further studies at UM.
“I’m so happy and proud to be named the initial recipient of the Olympian fund.
“I’ve always dreamt of becoming a scholarship recipient. I may not be a scholar but it gives me equal joy to receive it as an athlete,” said Pandelela.
Also launched last night was the Pandelela Olympian UM Fund, which is aimed at taking care of the welfare of undergraduates who are Olympians and help the country produce highly-educated athletes.
Deputy vice-chancellor Prof Dr Bulgiba Awang Mahmud said it was their hope that the two new initiatives would help the country produce athletes who excel in both sports and studies.
“We want to attract more national athletes to further their education at UM,” he said.
Awards were also presented to UM sports staff and students in the development of sports and recreational activities.
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