PETALING JAYA: Track cyclist Uracca Leow (pic) wants to resume her studies and continue to train with the national team on a part-time basis.
It has been nearly three years that Uracca has been in full-time training at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil as well as being involved in competitions and international stints.
She believes that going back to studies would provide a suitable distraction from the pressures of competition.
“Unlike most of the national athletes under the NSC (National Sport Council) programmes, I have no intention to do a pre-university course,” said the 20-year-old Uracca.
“I want to enrol in one of the local private institutions in the Klang Valley to pursue a diploma in tourism and hotel management for the next two years. But I want to continue to train part-time under coach Ng Joo Ngan.
“I have been training and competing in local and international championships for the past few years. I have not won any major event and this is very disappointing.”
In the Korat SEA Games last month, Uracca returned with the silver and bronze medals from the 3km individual pursuit and the 24km point race competitions respectively.
“There are also no major events happening for the next two years expect for the Asian Championships in March in Japan and the 2009 SEA Games in Laos. I think it's the right time to go back to studies,” she said.
“There is a lot of pressure when you just train and compete all year long.
“Sometimes you need a change in environment to ease some of the pressure. Returning to studies will provide me with another environment.”
Uracca, however, does not want to put a burden on her parents and will apply for a PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) loan to fund her studies.
“It's going to cost a lot of money to fund my studies, especially since I am planning to do it with a local private institution.
“My parents have sacrificed a lot of money for me in the past. So I think it's better that I apply for a study loan,” she said.