At the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017, Malaysians cheered on as national karate champion Mathivani Murugeesan earned a gold for the nation in the women’s kumite final.
The young athlete’s single-minded determination to succeed despite her sports injuries from a past competition resonated with audiences near and far. One group in particular, the students at Beaconhouse Newlands International School, were more excited than the others to witness their Maths and Science teacher's triumph on an international stage.
Mathivani, who is also fluent in Mandarin, has been a teacher at Beaconhouse Newlands International School since November 2015. Calling her role as a teacher a privilege more than a profession, the Universiti Putra Malaysia graduate spares no effort for her students in the classroom—all the while maintaining her rigorous training routine as a karate champion.
While education and sports insiders can testify to the demanding challenges of both fields, it’s hard to imagine someone excelling in both simultaneously, and yet that’s exactly what this 29-year-old has done.
Mathivani tells us what keeps her motivated and how she juggles it all.
I went into the SEA Games 2019 looking to prove that age and career were not roadblocks to achieving your dreams.— Mathivani Murugeesan