Getting to know: Jessica Lydia (Part III)
We’re back with the final article of our 3-part series for getting to know your consultant, Jessica Lydia! In this edition, we delve into Jessica’s reasons for pursing the U.S. college athletics path for her golf and undergraduate degree, as well as get a look behind her passions and what drives her!
Has the U.S. always been the dream for you growing up?
Not at all. I only learned about the U.S. pathway a year before I enrolled as a university student actually. I was playing my sport (golf) seriously, and was thinking of just going to a local university to continue my studies. However, I played tournaments in the U.S. that year and discovered that junior golfers would play tournaments in the U.S. to get recruited. I learned about the college golf pathway and that I could even get scholarship at universities that are “within” my level. Upon learning this, I started the recruitment process. It was an all or nothing for me – either I got recruited or I didn’t, since I started the process late. U.S. education is not cheap. I did not want to burden my parents into paying thousands of U.S. dollars, so I worked hard to get recruited in a good academic program but at the same time a place where I’d qualify for scholarship. I contacted more than 50 coaches, hoping to get traction, and luckily I did! I was and am really glad there’s the college golf pathway, that allowed to be play and improve my golf, and at the same time keeping education in the picture fully.
What do you think of the current junior golfers or golf industry in Indonesia?
Golf has been growing these past years in Indonesia. Back then it’s the same players over and over again, the number was relatively low. Nowadays, there are more junior players playing the sport. It’s very comforting seeing new pool of talents! A lot of is because there’s been quite a few individuals who’ve been a good advocate of the sport like Jimmy Masrin, Murdaya Poo, and associations like IJG (Indonesian Junior Golf) and NGI (National Golf Institute), and many more who are very supportive about the sport’s and athletes’ development through providing training facilities and organizing tournaments. There are really good golfers on the rise as well – Ribka Vania, Naraadji Emerald, etc, who are really inspiring to junior golfers. They give the younger generation a huge hope that Indonesians could compete with the international players. All these factors combined, and the fact that there are more who are aware of the college golf pathway and the opportunities available through sport, have really helped the growth of the sport.
Why did you join AddedSport? What do you do on your spare time?
I really want to encourage more junior athletes to keep playing their sports, and not just play, but be good at them. We have a lot of talents here in Indonesia, but playing sport is still a rather foreign concept. Most people see no future in sport, since in the end it’s your education that will help you get through life – this is true. However, sport helps effectively develop certain aspects that regular education can’t, such as perseverance, teamwork, sportivity, time-management, and of course mental strength. And it helps you get into good school and even scholarship in the US, depending on your level. By educating and encouraging junior families of the opportunities available through sport and the fact that they won’t have to choose either or between sports and school, and also sharing my personal experience in the sport, I really hope to help grow the overall sport industry in Indonesia. In AddedSport we focus on creating that opportunities for junior athletes.
In my spare time, I teach street-kids Bahasa (Indonesian language) and Math. I’ve always have the heart for kids. These kids don’t have the means to get a proper education or live a decent life. I’m hoping that what I do (along with the whole organization that I’m a part of, and the other friends involved) – empowering them through education and the right values, it would really encourage them to dream bigger than what they currently have and see. That life could get better, instead of merely accepting their fate and limitations. We want to give them hope.