Panthers of ISKL #112: Rhea D.

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– The Competitive Gymnast

“ISKL’s vision: know yourself, care for all, and create a better world means understanding and trusting yourself while trusting others. By working together, we can create a better environment.”

Japanese-Malaysian Middle School (MS) student Rhea recently joined ISKL this academic year, having moved from Singapore in June. Just earlier in September, Rhea took part in the Majlis Sukan Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM), representing ISKL with her team, clinching the gold for their category.

Here is Rhea’s story:

Tell us more about yourself?

I’m Japanese-Malaysian; however, I was born and grew up in Singapore for the first 11 years of my life. We moved to Kuala Lumpur in June, and I started ISKL in August.

Can you tell us about your hobbies and interests?

I like all sorts of sports.  My favorite sport has always been gymnastics; however, I used to swim competitively, but it got too much, so I stopped. 

During PE class at school, we are currently doing swimming, rock climbing, frisbee, and football.

What’s your favorite subject at school?

My favorite subject is Humanity and PE taught by Ms Georrs and Mr Long.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

I like the MS/HS library as it’s quiet, and you can sit down and study there.

Rhea D at the MSSM Gimrama CompetitionTell us more about your gymnastics journey so far.

When I was five, I tried artistic gymnastics but didn’t like it. Then my mom took me to rhythmic gymnastics, which I thoroughly enjoyed – I’ve been doing that ever since.

The difference between the two types of gymnastics is that rhythmic gymnastics is a more graceful sport and uses apparatus such as rope, balls, hoops, clubs, and ribbons. On the other hand, artistic gymnastics uses the beam, vault, and bars type of apparatus.

Can you tell us more about the Gimrama Tournament you participated in for the Majlis Sukan Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM)?

When I moved to Malaysia in June, I joined a gymnastics club called REA Excellence Unity Academy, where I train six days a week for 4 hours a day.

Soon our team started preparing for the Gimrama MSSM, the national-level rhythmic gymnastics competition for school students organized by the Ministry of Education, which was held from September 5-7. I represented ISKL and the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur for group exercises. My team and I became champions in our category and brought back gold medals for our respective schools.

Do you aspire to become a professional gymnast?

For rhythmic gymnastics, gymnasts usually stop their career at 20, therefore you need to start young. So I probably will be doing that until then – I am not sure what my plans are after.

Who or what inspires and influences you?

My gymnastics coaches. They help me improve various skills to be a better gymnast.

Do you have any words of advice for someone who wishes to become a rhythmic gymnast?

Never give up, and follow your dreams!

What are personal hopes and dreams for the future?

I want to be healthy, happy and surrounded by my loved ones and doggies.

What’s your favorite moment of the day?

I like the nighttime and I enjoy staying up late – the world feels cozier when it’s dark.

What do you enjoy doing after school?

I enjoy hanging out with my dogs and friends who live nearby.

What does the ISKL vision mean to you: know yourself, care for all, and create a better world?

It means to understand and trust yourself while trusting others. By working together, you can create a better environment.


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always has an anecdote to tell, loves to share some insights into their passions and interests, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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