Chong Zen Haw, a final-year Bachelor of Science (Hons) of Chiropractic student at International Medical University in Malaysia, was recently been honoured as one of the winners of the 2024 Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport (International Federation of Sports Chiropractic) (FICS) Sports Chiropractic Scholarship. This prestigious accolade marks a significant milestone in Zen Haw’s academic and professional journey, edging him closer to his aspiration of becoming a sports chiropractor.
Zen Haw’s journey towards a career in sports chiropractic originates from a personal experience. His aspirations as an athlete were abruptly altered five years ago due to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury that curtailed his active participation in football. However, this adversity fuelled his ambition to empower athletes through chiropractic care, aiming to transition from an active player to a crucial supporter on the sidelines.
The scholarship, awarded by FICS, is known for its stringent selection criteria. Open to students from accredited chiropractic colleges and universities worldwide, it challenges candidates to distinguish themselves amongst a global pool of applicants. Zen Haw, one of only four recipients annually, underwent a rigorous evaluation by an international panel of judges, including FICS executives and seasoned sports chiropractors.
In his scholarship application, Zen Haw presented a comprehensive understanding and passion for sports chiropractic. He submitted three insightful essays, addressing the significance of sports chiropractic, his personal involvement in sporting events, and his contributions to the field. These essays reflected his nuanced perspective on the evolving role of sports chiropractic in Malaysia and its vital impact on athletes’ performance.
Beyond academic prowess, Zen Haw has actively contributed to sports chiropractic through practical experiences. Notably, his participation in a community health project in the Philippines and an internship at the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) 2023 Asia Oceanic Ultimate and Guts Championships stand out. Here, he gained invaluable experience by observing and assisting experienced sports chiropractors.
The scholarship represents more than a financial boon for Zen Haw; it’s a testament to his unwavering commitment to sports chiropractic. Grateful for the opportunity, he is poised to use this experience for significant personal and professional development, aspiring to make a meaningful contribution to sports chiropractic globally.
Zen Haw’s transition from a former athlete to a sports chiropractic scholar is not only inspiring but also emblematic of how personal setbacks can be transformed into professional ambitions. His story is a testament to the resilience and dedication required to excel in the competitive field of sports chiropractic.