12 Apr 2013

Driven by Passion

With the hope of playing a part in helping Singapore’s sports industry flourish, Mohammad Rafiuddin Bin Samsudin has been able to combine his sporting passion perfectly with his area of study at SMF Institute of Higher Learning.

It may be with practical rationale that Mohammad Rafiuddin Bin Samsudin chose to take up an Engineering course back in the polytechnic – his then-decision was based on the promising job prospects in the engineering industry. But for his further education, his passion for sports won over. It was this love that fuelled his desire to gain scientific knowledge behind sports in order to better understand what goes on in the body as it moves.

He says, “Being greatly involved in sports through my school’s extra curriculum activities made me realise that it is this field that I want to get into in the future. Plus, the country is placing more emphasis on the importance of sports and a healthy lifestyle. By helping this cause, I would be able to contribute to society too! Finally, I will be able to make use of my engineering knowledge in modules like Biomechanics.”

While researching online on sports-related degree programmes available in Singapore, the Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science degree programme awarded by Edith Cowan University (ECU) offered by SMF Institute of Higher Learning stood out amongst the rest. Through this Exercise and Sports Science degree, students will gain an in-depth knowledge and sound practical skills in a variety of areas like Anatomy, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Motor Control, Psychology and Exercise of Sport, Rehabilitation, Skill Acquisition and Strength Conditioning through specialised teaching and research facilities.

One huge draw was the part-time course structure that allowed Rafiuddin to continue his personal trainer day job while pursuing his degree on weekday evenings and during the weekends. Another extra plus? He would be able to apply freshly-acquired knowledge straightaway to his work the very next day. The icing on the cake had to be the opportunity of attending a two-week study programme conducted ECU campus in Perth, Western Australia.

The Campus Spirit

One thing that Rafiuddin took notice of when he started the programme at SMF Institute was the strong affiliation the school had with its partner university. Although students are not physically in Perth, there is still a sense of belonging to ECU, thanks to the lecturers from ECU frequently flying to Singapore to conduct face-to-face lessons. Hence, there is no disconnect between local students and ECU lecturers. Rafiuddin has no problem dropping them an email whenever he is in doubt. Plus, students are kept in the loop of anything happening on both the overseas and local campuses.

The local tutors also do their part to make learning fun for the students, especially when it comes to hands-on laboratory sessions. “Without fail, both ECU lecturers and local tutors always share their first-hand experiences in sports and medical applications to bring the topics to life,” praises Rafiuddin of the faculty’s efforts to help students link what they are learning to the real world.

Their zest to provide an amazing learning journey is greatly appreciated by Rafiuddin, especially when he finds it tough to juggle work and studies at the same time. He says, “I’ve to admit, sometimes it’s really tiring especially when I lack sleep and still have assignments to complete.” So classmates who share the same goals and approachable faculty staff who treat all students like friends are a source of motivation to Rafiuddin who proudly states that he has scored a few distinctions in the last two trimesters.

Putting it all into practice

The 25-year-old personal trainer shares what he does in the gym, “I design an effective training programme based on each client’s goals. In order to optimise each session with my clients, there’s a need to demonstrate workouts, correct their form and techniques. We also play the role of a cheerleader to provide the motivation needed for that extra mile!”

Without a doubt, the Exercise and Sports Science degree programme is very relevant to his current job. The modules covered are designed to drill students with comprehensive scientific knowledge of sports, especially in the fields of sports, health and medicine. Rafiuddin is able to integrate all these into his own training programmes for clients to optimise their potential performance which also to gives him the edge over other personal trainers.

A unique learning experience

The energetic young man is looking forward to the two-week study programme in Perth, Western Australia. “I believe that it will be a great opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the ECU lecturers and bond with the fellow Australian students. I cannot wait to see for myself what kind of sophisticated sports science equipment the campus have. Plus, this is a perfect opportunity to immerse myself in the sports practices and culture of Australia as it is a country with a very established sporting industry and has produced many world-class athletes,” enthuses Rafiuddin.

The degree course will fully equip Rafiuddin and his classmates with the skills and resources needed to help Singapore’s homegrown athletes achieve their dreams and dominate their sports. Indeed, we predict great things in Rafiuddin’s future. In fact, his own personal lofty ambition is intertwined with the country’s own Vision 2030 – live better through sports. He says, “As a sports science graduate, I have the goal to impart the importance and knowledge of healthy living to society.”

By Shi Tianyun

Contributed by JobsCentral Pte Ltd