AFTER ruling the squash scene with eight world titles, Datuk Nicol Ann David has added another feather to her cap — an honorary doctorate in Sports Science from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
“It is a real honour to be awarded an honorary doctorate in Sports Science, more so getting it from my hometown university.
“It means a lot to me.
“The feeling is great as my parents are here with me, making it a truly special moment for me, ” she said after receiving the honorary doctorate at the 57th USM Commemorative Convocation held in conjunction with its 50th anniversary at its premises in Gelugor, Penang, on Monday.
Nicol retired in June as the greatest female player of all time, winning a record eight world titles, 81 PSA titles and dominated the world No. 1 spot for 109 consecutive months from 2006-2015.
On her future plans, Nicol said she would focus on giving motivational talks and the Nicol David Foundation, which was set up to promote sports as a vehicle to empower disadvantaged children.
A first of its kind in Malaysia, the foundation also seeks to increase the participation of children in sports.
“I would like to start giving more talks.
“Hopefully I will also be with the local athletes and work with the Youth and Sports Ministry to see where our athletes can go.
“I also want to focus on building my foundation as well, ” she said.
The ceremony also saw Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad receiving the Chancellor’s Sustainability Award which was created specially for him.
Dr Mahathir, who was not present, expressed his gratitude for the award via a pre-recorded video clip.
He said universities in the country should be a platform to advance the thinking and education process for a sustainable future.
“The role of universities is not limited to being creative and innovative in the discovery of new knowledge.
“What is paramount is its ability to
move alongside society in understanding and practising highly valued pillars of morality while widening the access to knowledge.
“We need to utilise science, engineering and technology as well as Big Data to benefit and ensure universal harmony among mankind, ” he said.
He said the university and academics need to move together in tandem with the role of public and private sectors in developing the country.
“Close cooperation between the academics and those outside the academic fields need to be increased, to fulfill the essential needs of the country in navigating the wave of modernisation and Industrial Revolution 4.0.
“Universities should maximise the available space for creativity and innovation in today’s digital domain to further explore new knowledge to free society from current dependencies, ” he added.
The ceremony was presided over by the chancellor of USM Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail.
Also present were Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail.
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