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Paralympian Gemma Rose Foo Beats the Odds;

The Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. Known for the internationally accredited and quality education it offers, the institute attracts students from all over the world, including increasing numbers of Indian students. Beyond academics, MDIS encourages students to take part in extra-curricular activities, sports and arts. Priding itself on being a responsible corporate citizen, MDIS also seeks to nurture and extend help to students with special needs. The institute is proud to announce that Gemma Rose Foo, MDIS School of Media and Communications student and Team Singapore Paralympian, recently won the third place title at the CPEDI3* (Concours Para-Équestre de Dressage International) in Überherrn Linslerhof.
Gemma has successfully balanced the demands of her studies and Equestrian sport to win a place for herself at next year’s FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2018. “It’s not always easy to balance studies and training, but I have worked hard to get where I am. Due to my tight schedule, I had just over a week to train with my horse in Cologne, Germany, before the competition in Überherrn,” she shared.

The 21-year old was diagnosed at birth with spastic quadriplegia – the most severe form of cerebral palsy. She first started riding horses at aged eight to help her condition. “I started this journey 12 years ago as a form of therapy. I am very grateful to have come this far in my competitive career these past six years,” says Gemma, who has taken part in the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games.

An Aspiration for the Future
Gemma is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (in Liberal Studies with concentration in Mass Communications) at MDIS, awarded by top Oklahoma City University, USA. This follows her MDIS Advanced Diploma studies, which she graduated from early this year. She plans to become a freelance writer and has hopes to become a published author of fiction books as well as a biography of how she has beaten the odds to achieve small and big successes along her journey in life.

“At MDIS, we are committed to nurturing our students’ full potential; in this case supporting Gemma’s pursuit of her passion and striking the right balance with her academic curriculum. Gemma’s determination and resolve to overcoming the odds is exemplary of what MDIS stands for. She is an inspiration for her peers and other students,” said Dr. R. Theyvendran, MDIS Secretary-General.
Aiming High for her Sport
The WEG is set to take place over two weeks in September 2018 in Mill Spring, North Carolina at the Tyron International Equestrian Centre. It is held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and is considered to be the most important event next to the Olympic Games on the world equestrian calendar. Next year’s Games are expecting to host athletes from over 70 countries and upwards from 500,000 spectators on site.

“Ultimately I would like to win a medal,” Gemma declares when asked about her hopes for the 2018 WEG. She adds, “I still have a lot to learn and hope to build up my experience. I feel I haven’t reached my peak yet, so I will continue to push myself to greater heights.”

About MDIS
Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries – Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd to oversee its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd to further its globalisation strategy.

MDIS offers internationally accredited courses from globally recognised universities in France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The institute has been EduTrust certified since 2010 and is one of the first Private Education Institutions to be registered under the Enhanced Registration Framework.

MDIS is one of the leading private education institutes (PEIs) to be ranked Top 2 among PEIs in Singapore, according to the Webometrics ranking of World Universities by Cybermetrics Lab in January 2017 ( In 2015, MDIS received the Enterprise 50 Award for its contributions and resilience in spurring Singapore’s economy.

MDIS set up the Management Development and Consultancy in 1995 to address the training needs of the workforce. The Service Quality Centre was acquired in 2014 to diversify the institute’s offerings in training solutions and secure its position as a premium regional provider of training solutions.
MDIS has three international campuses – Tashkent in Uzbekistan (2008), Johor in Malaysia (2013) and Chennai in India (2015). MDIS also has representative offices in China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, as well as agents throughout Southeast Asia.

For more information on MDIS, please visit

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