Learning is like a long race. One must make the posture and timing right at the very start, know how to gradually accelerate and round the corners in the middle, and spare no effort to sprint before the end. To some extent, the process of acquiring knowledge is as solitary as running, and can be frustratingly, challenging, and full of doubt. But it can also lead to victory, growth, and breakthroughs of one...

Our Year 13 student, Jack L, has been a sports enthusiast since he was a little boy, with a particular focus on running. Over the years, he has not only been an accomplished runner, but his training, competitions, success and failure in the arena have also inspired what he thinks and does academically and would eventually lead him to a rewarding life.


Sportsmanship and academic excellence go hand in hand

Jack comes from a family that places equal emphasis on intellectual ability and physical prowess. His parents encouraged him to join various co-curricular classes when he was a child, and took him outdoors to exercise, most often going running and swimming. Sports have become a part of Jack's life ever since. These long-term workouts have significantly improved his physical fitness. He has actively participated in various competitions since middle school, making a name for himself in track and field.


"Running may seem lonely and tedious, but over time, I gradually realised the fun and meaning of it." said Jack. Running has not only taught him to be persistent and focused, but also to be open to winning and losing: "The more I run, the less I care about winning or losing. As long as I did better than myself last time, that was a win." The qualities he gained from running became the key to his academic success.

Off the track, Jack's academic achievements are impressive. During his time with Dulwich Zhuhai, he won the Silver award in the 2020 UK Chemistry Olympiad (UKCHO) and Gold in the Canadian Chemistry Competition (CCC). And he has maintained a record of achieving straight A*s in maths, physics, and chemistry.


Run for friendship and growth

Jack has competed in numerous sports activities and competitions. Not only was he the winner and record holder of many running events in the Sports Days, but he also represented Dulwich Zhuhai in the cross-country running group competition and swimming competition held by the Pearl River Conference (PRC). Back in Year 11, Jack was the last racer of the 4×400m relay at Sports Day, and the memory of the final sprint is still fresh to him: "The teams in front of us had already pulled away and there wasn’t much hope of catching up, so when I took over the baton I didn't think much. I just ran straight ahead and won first place within the last 100 meters, and we were all very surprised and happy.” He added that the race made him feel the trust between his teammates, and the friendship built on that trust was the key to their victory.


It is one of Dulwich Zhuhai’s key areas of focus to support students to achieve holistic growth, to keep them motivated and help them excel in their respective areas of strength.


Jack for one is putting his personal strengths to good use, which is evident in his role as leader of the Running Club CCA. With his extensive experience, Jack guided his fellow schoolmates to tailor running plans for themselves, taking their individual training needs and physical conditions into consideration. "I’m more than happy to share my running and sports experiences with all my schoolmates. I like getting to know new students and making friends with them in a cordial and supportive atmosphere. Meanwhile, being able to guide them to progress and achieve their goals has also boosted my sense of accomplishment and self-confidence."

The ability to be alone: a powerful tool for science studies

In addition to running, Jack is also a science student with a passion for exploring new things. In 2021, he participated in a research project organised by a professor from the Standford University, working with his classmates to model and analyse the ground forces of car tire steering, resulting in a research paper eventually published on the official website of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

"In the past four years with Dulwich Zhuhai, the international teaching and learning environment allowed me to easily bridge my study to the courses abroad, preparing me well for my future life overseas.”

Jack will be pursuing engineering and science related majors, such as artificial intelligence, chip design and wearable devices. He has already received the offers from University College London, University of Edinburgh, University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. 

"To study science, one must be able to stand solitude, which I’ve already learnt from years of running."

Jack still practices running every day. He also mentioned his athletic idol Su Bingtian, the "Asian flyer", during the interview. “He is already in his 30s, but still wouldn’t give in. Instead, he keeps working hard to set his best time and showed the whole world how fast an Asian can run. I am so impressed and inspired by his perseverance and hard-working spirit.”