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This article was contributed by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
Higher Nitec in Sport Management @ ITE College Central
Recipient of Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal
Courage to Pursue Dreams
Damien Tan pioneered the Fencing Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) at ITE College Central. To pursue his interest in the sporting industry after obtaining a Nitec in Aerospace Avionics, Damien bravely made the change from studying Aerospace to Sport Management.
The values of perseverance and resilience, which he learnt from fencing, helped him succeed in his studies, placing him in the Director’s List in 2019 and 2020.
In Sport Management, he grew to enjoy the dynamism of sports events and is now equipping himself with Event Management skills via a diploma course.
Damien also pushed himself to grow in his leadership and empathetic skills by joining Student Council and ACE Programme, a student talent development programme.
Through his four years in ITE, he has grown his skills in various areas – trade, sports and leadership. He is grateful to his ITE lecturers who have shown him concern beyond his academics.
Succeeding at His Own Timing
Damien shared: "Academic grades do not determine your success in life.
"They do not measure your ability to connect with others or your ability to think outside the box.
"We do not have to follow societal pressures and expectations, as to when we should achieve different milestones.
"It is alright to take a longer route.
"I spent four years in ITE, which meant that I had more time to discover myself and find out what I really wanted to do.
"There are many ways to succeed and we must develop ourselves in different areas."
Damien is pursuing a Diploma in Integrated Events & Project Management at Singapore Polytechnic.
An accomplished fencer, Damien represented ITE in competitions such as the 2018 and 2019 Asian Varsity Fencing Championships where he achieved a top 16 placing both times. He is a part-time coach at SG Academy of Fencing.
As a member of Student Council, Damien contributed to various community service projects, from planning an anti-drug campaign on campus, organising activities to spread festive cheer to nursing home residents, to facilitating cyber wellness learning for underprivileged children. Damien also penned thank-you messages to healthcare workers during the outbreak of COVID-19.
For his dedication to community service, exemplary conduct and outstanding academic performance, Damien received the ITE Service Star Gold Award 2020, Edusave Character Award 2020 and Student Excellence Award 2019.