Esther in two minds over future

PETALING JAYA: Bowler Esther Cheah can’t decide whether to further her studies in the United States or concentrate on the World Championships in Mexico in August. 

Esther, who received a whopping RM198,333 in rewards on Wednesday for her efforts in winning two gold and three silver medals at the Doha Asian Games last December, said that the start of a degree programme she wanted to do clashed with the World Championships. 

“My lecturer wants me to do a degree in psychology. And the best place to do it is in the US,” said Esther, who is studying at the Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU). 

“I have to decide whether to concentrate on the World Championships or leave for the US in the same month to do my two-year degree programme.” 

The Penang-born Esther said that she would discuss the matter with her parents. 

“If they want me to concentrate on my studies, then I will skip the world meet. Otherwise, I will postpone my degree programme to February next year,” said Esther, whose father Holloway is the national bowling coach. 

Esther added that she preferred to enrol in a university in the US because there was flexibility in the programme, which allows her to study and train as well. 

“I just don’t want to obtain a degree but also want to continue training to keep in good condition to represent the national team after my studies,” said Esther, who has applied for the Higher Education Ministry’s (HEM) scholarship for athletes. 

She added that if she failed to get the scholarship, she would use the money earned for her efforts in the Asiad to pay for her studies in the US. 

“The degree programme is expected to cost between US$20,000 and US$30,000 (RM70,000 and RM105,000) a year. I have enough money for it,” said Esther. 

Her next major assignment is the World Ranking Masters in Doha in April. Esther said that Doha had been a good hunting ground for her and she was looking forward to another golden outing there. 

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