When we first talked to Rachel Tam Hin-ching back in September, she had her eyes set on an athletic scholarship for university. Young Post’s sports stars are all about achieving their goals, and Rachel is no exception: she has been offered a full athletic scholarship by University of Evansville in Indiana, US.
Currently a student at St Catharine’s School for Girls, the 18-year-old volleyball sensation says the sport has taught her valuable lessons that can be applied when striving for any type of goal. “The ‘never give up’ spirit is important to me, because in volleyball, as long as the ball does not drop on the court, you’ll still have a chance to win the point,” she says.
As Rachel prepares for the challenges of competing at university level in the US, she reflects on her past achievements that helped secure her the scholarship. “Representing Hong Kong on the national volleyball team provided me many chances to improve as an athlete and experience new cultures,” she says. “By training with the best in Hong Kong, I was fortunate to improve even more than my peers. This opportunity also gave me more belief in myself, and conviction that I can achieve anything through hard work and dedication.”
At the University of Evansville, Rachel knows she will have to step up her game - but is ready for the challenge. “This scholarship gives me an opportunity to play high-level volleyball at the NCAA D1 level,” she explains. “From my understanding, this is close to being a professional athlete. It will definitely be challenging, but I believe I can excel at this level.”
But more than having the chance to play at the top-level, Rachel is grateful for the educational side her scholarship provides. “Probably the most important thing is that it will provide me is the opportunity to study overseas, receive a high-quality education, and save my family lots of money because studying at this university will cost a fortune,” she says.
“I will also be surrounded by brilliant minds and high-calibre athletes, all of which I believe will open my mind to new interests and future job opportunities.”
Rachel is already looking to get a jump start on the competition. “I will keep training hard so I can fight for a starting position when I arrive on campus,” she says. “I don’t want to be a bench warmer, as I want to make a big impact right away. I’m going to do more fitness training so that I can be well prepared.”
And for anyone else who hopes to one day get a scholarship for something they love, Rachel has some simple advice. “Dream big and don’t underestimate yourself,” she says. “Also, don’t be lazy and always be the hardest working person in the room.”
What song/movie title best describes you when you’re playing your sport?
Rather Be by Clean Bandit. The best lyric: ‘’If you gave me a chance I would take it/It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it’’. It reminds me to grab every chance I get, and not to waste all the work I have been doing
You can have any superpower you choose for 24 hours. What do you choose and how do you use this power?
It would be not having to sleep so I’d have more time for training and coping with my homework.
If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be and why?
Food. I love eating and I can’t stop putting delicious food into my mouth, haha ...
10 years in the future, you are a famous athlete. What company do you sign on as spokesperson for, and what product do you promote?
2XU. Recovery is important for every professional athlete after high intensity training. 2XU’s compression tights are outstanding. They enhance my recovery and do a great deal to reduce muscle soreness so that I can perform well in everyday training.