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One cool ‘nerd jock’

Debunking the “dumb jock” stereotype may not be the easiest when, occasionally, sub-par grades get a standout varsity athlete kicked out of the team. But volleyball player Kathy Bersola thinks that sweeping perception—that athletes are all brawn—needs to go.

There’s reason, of course, for this University of the Philippines standout to take offense after juggling—and flourishing—in both her studies and sport.

Kathy Bersola. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net
“Nakakaasar talaga (It can get really annoying),” says Bersola. “Athletes are some of the most disciplined people I know. I know a lot who are really hardworking in school, like my friends and classmates.”

As one of the top blockers in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball competition, Bersola powered the Lady Maroons to the league’s Final Four in 2016. But the former UP team captain, who bagged the Best Blocker award in 2014, made the court her playground and finished her pre-medicine course with the highest honors.

Just a few weeks ago, Bersola graduated summa cum laude with a degree in sports science. She’s the first from the College of Human Kinetics to receive the state university’s highest academic distinction.

“It’s all about learning to prioritize,” says Bersola. “It’s also about time management. But a big factor is the genuine love and interest for both the sport and whatever course you’re taking. If you don’t really like it, you’ll have a hard time.”

Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/256612/one-cool-nerd-jock

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