Singapore U19 Women’s National Team’s Summer Chong, 17, was awarded a sports scholarship with High Mowing School, New Hampshire, USA, in August 2021 to pursue her football dreams overseas as a student-athlete.
Summer first started playing football recreationally and was later scouted for the U12 Girls’ National Team, and has been playing competitively ever since. She’s always wanted to pursue football overseas and when Sportsync, a student-athlete recruitment agency specialised on securing sport scholarships for students from Asia to pursue education in North America and the UK, provided her with the opportunity, she jumped at it.
In order to clinch the scholarship, Summer went through a 3-step process - First, creating a highlight video to showcase her playing style to the coaches in overseas colleges. Next, she had to send in her academic transcript with her grades. And lastly, complete an interview with the respective school.
At High Mowing School, Summer has to manage both studies and football. She admits that it can be quite tiring being a student-athlete as training runs 6 out of 7 days a week, from Monday to Saturday, with minimally 1 game per week. Besides team training, Summer is disciplined in maintaining her fitness training, waking up at 5.50am to head to the gym at 6am for a 1 to 2-hour session before school starts. After gym, school goes from 8am to 4pm, before her team training commences at 4:30pm. After team training, she would stay to complete her individual training before washing up for the day and starting on her academic homework. Besides settling into studies and football, she is also overcoming the challenge of acclimatising to the cold weather on the East Coast of the US. Some tricks that she has tried so far include doing sprints and running with less warm clothes and masks on.
Despite her packed schedule, Summer finds the entire experience rewarding because she gets to play a lot of matches and it really helps that the training facilities are accessible as she stays at the school. High Mowing School is a residential academy with an attached football club, Black Rock FC, that competes against elite prep schools, top domestic teams and international clubs. The team also participates in elite college showcases and highly selective tournaments. At Black Rock FC, Summer plays mostly in the midfield positions. In comparison to Summer’s prior competitive football experience in playing in the Singapore C’ and B’ Division (local inter-schools tournament for lower and upper Secondary Schools in Singapore), she feels that the competition is much higher in the US as the play is at a faster pace and the players are generally more aggressive.
With such an exciting academic path ahead, Summer also aims to get into a good university through a sports scholarship which will require another round of application. Once her education goals have been achieved, she has big dreams and a stretch goal to play for Chelsea FC in the UK. We wish Summer all the best and we can’t wait to see where her football takes her!