Student Spotlight: Year 12 Ella Han

We have a wealth of talented students at DCSZ, and we are well used to celebrating our internal successes. The value in Dulwich Difference aims at preparing students well in all aspects and encouraging them to develop their own interests. However, outside of our College sports programme we also have a number of athletes who compete externally at a high level.  

Here we talk to Ella Han, Junior Professional Golf Athlete Year 12 IB student. Let’s see how she balances schoolwork and interests. Over to you , Ella:

Could you please share your golf interest with us?

I first played golf when I was nine and started professional training at the age of 11. I really enjoy meeting many new friends and playing in different challenging courses every time. About my role models that I look up to, it’s Tiger Woods! He is one of the greatest players in the PGA tour and what I admire most about him is his unremitting spirit and superb golf skills.


Could you describe your best sporting moment/success? How did it feel like?

This summer I achieved my lowest tournament score, and it was amazing! I used to find this goal very hard to reach. Then, once I did it the first time, it helped me to be a lot more confident and I began to shoot low scores more often.


Ever since you came to DCSZ, what has been the biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome the problems?

The biggest challenge for me when I first came to DCSZ was that I had to study all my courses in English, so I put in a lot of extra effort after school to develop my English skills and to understand the content.


How do you balance your academic work and your golf commitment? What would you say to younger students who feel that they can’t be successful in both?

Time management is definitely the key! It will always be beneficial to use your free time effectively and have a solid plan. I spent a lot of time on my golf at a younger age to develop a solid foundation, which helps me now as I can still train hard and maintain my academics. My golf is also a big part of my university application, so it is just as important as my academics.


While you are doing IB courses and practicing golf, did you have a moment when you feel frustrated? If yes, how did you balance the two things and manage your timetable well every day?

There are definitely times when I have a lot of upcoming deadlines and assessments of different subjects, and at the same time I need to travel a lot to play tournaments and attend training programs. The key is to make the best use of time and be well prepared before lessons, so the following tasks will be easier.


Is there any DCSZ subject teacher who supports you the most and would you like to tell us why?

All the teachers in Dulwich College have been very helpful and supportive. DCSZ is a very friendly community where I can always go to someone when I need help.


Please tell us the role of your parents in your success.

My parents guided me into golf, they support me in all my tournaments and training sessions. When I face challenges or meet difficulties, they always give me the greatest support and encouragement to cheer me up.


Do you have any advice to younger people who want to start playing golf?

Trust yourself and don’t be hesitant to give it a shot; it’s never too late to start! It will be fantastic if you begin with a few different sports and then find out the one that you enjoy the most. If you have a strong passion for a sport, it will definitely be easier to make progress.