Paralympian Gemma Rose Foo Beats the Odds; Achieves Success in her Studies and Competitive Equestrian Sport
Chennai: The Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. Known for the internationally accredited and quality education it offers, the institute attracts students from all over the world, including increasing numbers of Indian students. Beyond academics, MDIS encourages students to take part in extra-curricular activities, sports and arts. Priding itself on being a responsible corporate citizen, MDIS also seeks to nurture and extend help to students with special needs. The institute is proud to announce that Gemma Rose Foo, MDIS School of Media and Communications student and Team Singapore Paralympian, recently won the third place title at the CPEDI3* (Concours Para-Équestre de Dressage International) in Überherrn Linslerhof.
Gemma has successfully balanced the demands of her studies and Equestrian sport to win a place for herself at next year’s FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2018. “It’s not always easy to balance studies and training, but I have worked hard to get where I am. Due to my tight schedule, I had just over a week to train with my horse in Cologne, Germany, before the competition in Überherrn,” she shared.
The 21-year old was diagnosed at birth with spastic quadriplegia – the most severe form of cerebral palsy. She first started riding horses at aged eight to help her condition. “I started this journey 12 years ago as a form of therapy. I am very grateful to have come this far in my competitive career these past six years,” says Gemma, who has taken part in the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games.
An Aspiration for the Future
Gemma is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (in Liberal Studies with concentration in Mass Communications) at MDIS, awarded by top Oklahoma City University, USA. This follows her MDIS Advanced Diploma studies, which she graduated from early this year. She plans to become a freelance writer and has hopes to become a published author of fiction books as well as a biography of how she has beaten the odds to achieve small and big successes along her journey in life.
“At MDIS, we are committed to nurturing our students’ full potential; in this case supporting Gemma’s pursuit of her passion and striking the right balance with her academic curriculum. Gemma’s determination and resolve to overcoming the odds is exemplary of what MDIS stands for. She is an inspiration for her peers and other students,” said Dr. R. Theyvendran, MDIS Secretary-General.
Aiming High for her Sport
The WEG is set to take place over two weeks in September 2018 in Mill Spring, North Carolina at the Tyron International Equestrian Centre. It is held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and is considered to be the most important event next to the Olympic Games on the world equestrian calendar. Next year’s Games are expecting to host athletes from over 70 countries and upwards from 500,000 spectators on site.
“Ultimately I would like to win a medal,” Gemma declares when asked about her hopes for the 2018 WEG. She adds, “I still have a lot to learn and hope to build up my experience. I feel I haven’t reached my peak yet, so I will continue to push myself to greater heights.”