Athletes Inspire: Seeking Role Models For Our Students

Check out Athletes Inspire! on YouTube: bit.ly/athletesinspire
where students can interact with & learn from Malaysia's athletes.

I teach at the Sarawak State Sports School & my students are all state-level athletes from all over Sarawak. It has been a real struggle for me to get my students to learn English, even before the MCO & the serious obstacles in online learning.

Readers of my blog will be familiar with stories of students who avoid me, just because they have to say "good morning" to me in English, & those who literally run away from me because they know I want to involve them in an English program/competition. The sad part is I'm not alone. The teachers of other academic subjects at my school are facing similar struggles & working very hard to address them.

Why is this so? Mainly, because the proper foundations for learning were not put in place in their formative years. When learning is such a struggle, they go all in with sports, which may not be an effective long-term strategy for a majority of my students. Also, many of my students are from rural B40 communities & don't have role models in their lives to show them the possibilities with a talent in sports.

Introducing Athletes Inspire!, if my students don't think what I have to say is relevant to them, perhaps the words of another athlete will make more sense. Perhaps it'll be relevant to your students too? Every fortnight, I'll interview a different Malaysian athlete live on YouTube (in either English, BM, or rojak) and provide opportunities for students to interact with them via asking questions in the comment section.

If you're a teacher & your struggling too, challenge your students to come up with questions & interact with Malaysian athletes live on Athletes Inspire! Also, I'm planning to create EdPuzzle quizzes based on these interviews, so that our students can practice their listening skills & compete with each other for the highest score.

If you are an athlete, I am hoping that you will be willing to contribute half an hour out of your busy schedule to inspire the future of our beloved nation. Be the mentor that you wish you had when you were younger.

Together, let's end the stereotype that "budak sukan tidak pandai belajar" & reveal the countless possibilities available to the young leaders of Malaysia.

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