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A young multiskilled student with abundant energy and passions | Garden International School Malaysia

Matthew's medal collection amassed to date since he started competing in Year 3 for GIS and as a State swimmer

Garden International School (GIS) offers plenty of learning opportunities for students to explore and pursue their interests. Twelve-year-old Matthew Tang from Year 7 is one of the students who loves to get involved in different areas of learning.

Matthew's medal collection amassed to date since he started competing in Year 3 for GIS and as a State swimmer

Matthew’s medal collection amassed to date since he started competing in Year 3 for GIS and as a State swimmer.

Matthew is a young competitive student with abundant energy and passions. His enthusiasm and talents lie towards sports, mathematics, music, drama and art.

Currently in Year seven, Matthew is active in swimming, athletics, cross-country and in team sports such as basketball and football.  He has been a member of the school’s sports team, ‘GIS Dragons’, across all these sports since Year 3. In Year 4, Matthew competed in the ISAC Cross-Country championships and emerged as joint champion. Matthew is also a part of the GIS Dragons Swim Team and has represented GIS across various competitions such as ISAC, Fobisia and SEASAC.

Matt in action at SEASAC

Matt in action at SEASAC.

Some of his sport achievements are :

  • Winning GIS’ MVP Award for Swimming for 3 consecutive years in 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Becoming a State Swimmer at the age of 10 when he qualified for the KL State Team in 2016
  • Qualifying for the Selangor State team in Swimming 2018
  • Qualifying for the Malaysian National Schools Swimming Championships (MSSM) in 2017 (represented KL State)
  • Super Sprint Swim Meet 2017 in Thanyapura Phuket – Top boy
    Swim Gala 2017 at the Royal Selangor Golf Club – Top boy
  • Phuket Flying Fish 2017 – Top boy
  • Qualifying for SEASAC Swimming 2017 as a Primary student
  • Primary FOBISIA Swimming Champions 2017
  • Earning a Top 10 placing (7th) in the U13 Cross Country in 2017
  • 3rd place at the U13 ISAC Basketball Championships 2017
  • Part of the Gold-medal winning Basketball Team at the recent U13 Fobisia Games
  • Part of the Bronze-medal winning Football Team at the recent U13 Fobisia Games
  • Overall Champions for Swimming at the recent U13 Fobisia Games

Matthew enjoys singing and acting too. In Year Four, he played the role of a Wickersham Brother in  Seussical The Musical. In Year Five, he was cast as the main lead of Lion King Jr, Simba.

Matt as Simba in Lion King Jr

Matthew as Simba in Lion King Jr.

“I was excited to get the role although it was nerve-wracking just before the show.  But it was a fantastic experience performing live on stage.” he recalled.

Matthew has also participated in GIS’ X-Factor – a primary talent competition – and emerged second. Matthew also plays the ukulele and violin and is an avid fan of the Rubik’s cube, solving it in a current personal best time of 15 seconds.

Last year, he participated in the Novel Knockout 2017 and won second place for GIS. The competition required participants to read, understand and analyse the story plot and characters of eight novels selected by the organising committee of the Kuala Lumpur Library Network.

Academically, Matthew does equally well in mathematics, languages and humanities. He impressed his teachers and fellow schoolmates in the Pi Recital Competition recently held in school where he won the competition by successfully reciting 270 Pi digits. Matthew also took 2nd place at the Year 7 Math Magic Grand Finals.

Matthew and his team members won third place in the KL Maths Challenge 2016 and a Top Eight position in the regional FOBISIA Maths Challenge 2017. For languages, Matthew was awarded ‘Linguist of the Term’ for both Spanish and Bahasa, and for Geography, Matthew received the ‘Best Geography Student’ of the Term’ award.

Matt with haul of 10 medals at GIS inaugural Early Fire meet

Although art is not his forte, Matthew seizes every learning opportunity. He surprised himself by winning the school’s art competition, The Big Draw at the end of last year despite having a short time to prepare due to his sports training.

He also won first place in the school’s anthology competition last year with his poem titled “My Football Fantasy”.

Football is my favourite game
Playing it well was my route to fame
Be it defence, striker, left wing or right wing
Scoring goals, that was my main thing

The stadium was ready for a game that was thrilling
The fans came in droves, they would accept nothing but winning
The screaming, the cheering, the din of the crowd
Them chanting my name, that always make mum proud

Out ran the two teams, adrenalin a-pumping
Excitement was high, my heart was furiously thumping
Almost one minute to the end of the game
With amazing precision, I took accurate aim

The fans erupted into thuderous cheers
“Goal! Goal!” that’s all I could hear!
A hero I was in the eyes of them all
Holding me aloft, I felt amost ten feet tall

The gem of the league – Manchester United
I played for them until I was eventually knighted
The day they announced that I had been drafted
I recall tearing up, overwhelmed and excited

Suddenly I woke up to mum’s shrill scream
Alas! It had been just an euphoric dream
Only moments ago I had been in ecstasy
Sadly to realise it had all been my fantasy

When asked how his schedule was like, Matthew said:

“I have swim training from 5pm to 7pm from Monday to Thursday as well as on Saturday and Sunday. Wednesday is my most tiring day as I have Dragons football training from 6am to 7am, PE (Physical Education) session during school hours, basketball training after school, and swim training in the evening.”

On top of all these, Matthew is also a student leader of the Sports strand.

“I have enjoyed GIS thoroughly since Reception. It is a wonderful school and the teachers are extremely supportive and nurturing. They motivate and encourage me to put my best foot forward in everything I do. They are very understanding and offer ample support and care to help me manage my busy schedule.”

For a young and multi-talented boy who excels in so many areas, it is no wonder Matthew has no definite plan yet on what he wants to be when he grows up. However, he knows for sure one thing he aims to do: to be an active citizen.

“I want to be someone useful in the society and I want to do things that inspire young children in the future.”

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