Thursday, April 26, 2007

Striving to be a Gentleman, Professional and Sportsman

The events of last week's National Interschool Cross-Country gave us all a bitter pill to swallow. It wasn't just the fact that for the first time in 19 years, we had failed to capture either the B or C Div Boys title. As we have often said, winning and losing is part of the game, and there is no shame- I repeat, no shame, in having lost to a better player or better runner.

But something nagged at the back of my mind when we saw some of the results after the race and for a while we couldn't put our finger on it.
During the B-Div Boys, we all saw Ashraf Kumar from 4F cross the finishing line ahead of his competitor, we were all cheering for him as this placed him, our Second Runner, 6th in terms of overall position.
However, with the fall of Thomas, our third runner, we knew that our shot at the championship was not to be.
So after the race, we didn't realise that Ashraf was listed as 7th, NOT 6th.

Apparently, the electronic tagging system had captured the other runner first. This puzzled us as we had all seen Ashraf cross the line ahead and even Ashraf confirmed it. We wondered whether it was the case that both runners had come in so close together that it would be hard to distinguish 6th and 7th placing; however, when we saw a clip of the actual finishing, it was without a doubt that Ashraf finished in 6th place.

The race is over and as Gentlemen, we must acknowledge that we lost to a better team.
However, receiving the National Colours Award is not about winning or losing, it is an award given to deserving Sportmen that have played the game well and at the highest levels. The top 6 runners are eligible for the National Colours Award and the technical glitch that resulted in the switch of placing between Ashraf and the other competing runner may mean that Ashraf does not get his Colours Award.
We're not quibbling about timing between 2 athletes that came in neck to neck, we are looking at a clear positional difference between 2 athletes.

Now being Gentlemen and Sportsmen, we must also aim to be Professional.
It is important in running any sporting event that the criteria for competition are fair and reliable; otherwise there is no accurate benchmark for performance and competition becomes meaningless.

Year after year, the use of electronic tagging system has given rise to several incidents like this- in past years, some runners who completed the race were not captured by the system, thereby forfeiting their positions. As teachers and coaches, we are not even sure of whether there is a back-up system to adjudicate this issue- we all saw a video camera at the finishing line but no one was manning it this year. What if the tagging system malfunctions and does not capture the runners- unlike 2.4 for NAPFA, we cannot do a re-run!

So the question I posing now to all of us is this:
In a nation and educational landscape that is branded for its drive towards excellence, how can we short-change our athletes by telling them that:

Their winning and losing is not based on their performance during the race but on the performance and integrity of the measuring mechanisms used?

That crossing the 'finishing line' isn't really cross the finishing line; it depends on WHEN the tracking system picks you up.

True, competition is not all about winning and losing. For any race, there will be a winner and loser but all are champions as long as they have performed to the best of their limits and have a fair indication of their success in the race.

But how can a race be meaningful if it measures the performance of its competitors based using a syetem that is so easily affected by so many variables- that race makes the competitive spirit secondary to the arbitrary nature of its measuring instruments.

Only when we can have fair and reliable methods of competition can we talk about instilling values through competition because there is no sense telling our athletes to 'Win with humility and lose with pride' if winning and losing is dictated by luck.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

C-Div East Zone Soccer Finals

It was a match of old rivals when Victoria School met against Green View Secondary during the C-Boys East Zone Soccer Finals at VJC yesterday. For some reason, we've never been able to win the Zone finals-always coming in 2nd to qualify for the Nationals. But the thing is, we've made it to the National Finals.

Yesterday, was a hard fought match with Green View lead always ahead of us in goals. We managed to equalised when Amsyar scored our penalty against them and Shuvod hammered in the decisive equaliser to bring us into extra time with a score of 2-2. But Green View held on to their dominance and won the game in extra time with a final score of 4-2.

This looks to be a year of near misses. But don't dispair boys, in the end, what matters is that we played our best and there is no shame in losing to a better team.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Tribute to Yuan Ching Secondary School:'Gangster School' fights back with lots of heart- ST Mon 23rd Apr 2007

This is what it means to be something more:
"Mr Gomez himself canvassed Jurong Point Shopping Centre, Jurong Entertainment Centre and Jurong Superbowl for support, handing out his namecard to store managers and asking them to report truants. Few schools go beyond their gates to enforce discipline, but for Yuan Ching, it was a matter of survival. Backed by community help, the school's teachers buckled down to work. They had lunch at Jurong Point and patrolled the neighbourhood to nab loiterers and misbehaving pupils. "
Students in the beginning may have cursed and swore at the Principal and his staff for being so 'extra' and 'kaypoh' - but look where they are now. They have turned themselves into something that everyone can be proud of.

"Former principal Chong Hoi Neng, now head of Pei Hwa Secondary in Sengkang, recalled: 'The focus was very clear. We channelled everything into academic results.
'We decided everything else was unimportant, so we did not chase awards or medals at competitions, or put up musicals or exhibitions.'
Teachers ran extra classes after school, and homed in on improving English. It worked: The school, which had only a 57 per cent pass rate for English in 2000, managed 96 per cent in 2002."

It is vital to be able to prioritise what is important and what is not: sometimes we cannot have everything. Victorians, we have a rich heritage of CCA but let us not forget that education consists of learning AND studying (notice I said, studying, not performing well in exams). So in a matter of survival, sometimes less is more. For us, we have the luxury of having more options but there is much we can learn from Yuan Ching's example.

But the part of the article which really hit me in the heart was this:
"Mr Gomez said: 'We told parents: 'We have nothing to offer you. Our school is old, our discipline is bad, we have no stellar results to shout about.
'But we will care for your children. We will bring the school up. Take us on faith."

Faith and care.
It is rare in this day and age to admit to weakness and for a school to say that it has nothing to offer in academic results and discipline, is tantamount towards career suicide.
It's true, without academic results and discipline, in our educational landscape, you really have nothing to offer.
But look at their next line!- 'But we will care for your children. We will bring the school up. Take us on faith."
With Faith and Care, therein lies EVERYTHING that teaching is supposed to be.

"Looking back, Mr Gomez believes the school succeeded in pulling itself up because of 'heart'.
He said: 'We have a group of passionate and dedicated teachers who decided they would pull out the stops to save the school. No one wanted to see it closed or merged."

This is our inspiration, both as students and as educators-
How far are we willing to go to make something more of ourselves,
To prove to the world that we are not content to be mediocre,
That we are not content to let the world pass us by,
That we will not let someone else decide our fate for us.
That we will hold our lives in our hands and together make a difference.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Victorian's Prayer

Today, I just heard during Assembly from our NCC boys who've taken part in the Temasek Regatta that after holding on to the Championship title for 2 years in our division, we did not manage to hold on to it this year and only emerged 4th. Apparently, a near collision and obstruction by another craft cost us the race.

One of the best books I have ever read is the Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, first published in 1968. A large part of it forms the core training manual for the Camp Instructors Course which I run every year.
Sometime back, I chanced upon a sequel to this book by the same author and it contained an extract that I found to be very pertinent to us in light of the events
that have happened. Since this year is bumpy one for us, with many near misses. In light of our reccent events, and the concern raised about the manner in which we deal with our upsets, I would like to remind all of us what it means to play the Sportsmen's game with an extract from Part II of the Greatest Saleman in the World:

To all Victorians, let this be our common prayer, regardless of your race, language or religion:

"Let neither work nor play, no matter how satisfying or glorious, ever seperate me, for long, from the love that unites me with my family.
Teach me how to play the game of life with fairness, courage, fortitude and confidence.

Provide me with a few friends who understand me and yet remain my friends.
Allow me a forgiving hear and a mind unafraid to travel even though the trail may not be marked. Give me a sense of humor and a little leisure with nothing to do.

Help me to strive for the highest ligitimate reward of merit, ambition and opportunity and yet never allow me to forget to extend a kindaly, helping hand to others who need encouragement and assistance.

Provide me with the strength to encounter whatever is to come, that I be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in anger and always prepared for any change in fortune,
Make me sympathetic to the grief of others, realising that there are hidden woes in every life, no matter how exalted.

Keep me forever serene in every activity of life, neither unduly boastful nor given to the more serious sin of self-depreciation.
In sorrow, may my sould be uplifted by the thought that if there were no shadow, there would be no sunshine.

In failure, preserve my faith
In success, keep me humble.
Steady me to do the full share of my work and more, as well as I can and when that is done, stop me, pay me what wages I deserve and permit me to say my thanks to all who have contributed to my success along the way

In all that we do or do not, the world is watching.

In all that we do or do not, we are responsible.

In all that we do or do not, we define our lives

Tommorow, our C-Boys Soccer Team will be playing in the Zone Finals at VJC.
Play well, play hard and play fair, and know that we are all with you.
For it is in the way you play the game that defines you and makes us proud of you.

Go VS Go!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

48th National Interschools Cross Country

Yesterday, was an angst filled day at Turf City as we faced yet another sporting upset.
Our C-Div boys placed 4th and our B-Div boys placed 3rd in both division titles.
While we're still strong in the Top 4, this is the first time in donkey years (19 in fact) that VS has NOT taken either a C-Div or B-Div Championship title.
In fact, we have on occasion taken BOTH C-Div and B-Div Championship titles and have done so for the last 2 years.

The chain has been broken but what a show of spirit the boys gave. We did not win but let's not discredit ourselves because 3rd and 4th placing shouldn't be seen as a loss either!
It has been reported in papers that the other competing schools disntinguished themselves by 'the manner in which they crossed the finishing line. Even though they were tired, they stood and smiled encouragingly at each other.'

Let me tell you about crossing finishing lines.
It's easy to stand around and smile encouragingly at each other at the finishing line- heck, what do you think our boys have been doing at the finishing line for the past 19 years when we maintained our unbroken winning streak?
But, I mean, when you are in a good leading position, that's the natural thing to do; so we never made a big deal about it.

But I digress, let me tell you about crossing finishing lines.

With our first 3 runners coming in at about 2nd, 7th and 8th, we stood a good chance to fight for 1st and 2nd placing. However, as Thomas Ho, our 3rd runner was poised to cross the finishing line, he collapsed from sheer exhaustion about 15m from the finishing line.

Lying motionless, the anguished Victorian crowd cheered him on- with Principal, Mr Low, himself there to spur him on.

It has been reported in the papers that our rival schools have ingrained their athletes with the notion that 'Champions don't collapse"

Precious seconds ticked by as our Victorian lay motionless.

As the other runners lapped Thomas, the chances of clinching our B-Div Championship title faded further and further away. But deep in our hearts we knew that we were priviledged to witness a struggle here bigger than the race, bigger than the entire Cross-Country Championships itself.

As we saw Thomas struggle to lift himself up, we knew that we were about to see how
one single, minute individual can overcome the finite capabilities of the body and touch infinity by becoming something greater than himself, and how a thousand individual hearts can beat together- as ONE.

Thomas took in all the reserves of his strength to gather to his feet. Our roars and our cheers pulsing in heart, mind and soul.
Tapping into the deepest core of his being, he willed himself to stand and stand tall.

Taking a hesitant step, he pushed forward and headed on. Just a few metres before the line, Thomas fell-Again.

They tell us that 'Champions don't fall"
But Thomas was there on the ground. He was spent. He knew there was no way he could stand.
But the race was not over, we who play the Sportsmen's game know that we run every race to the finish.

They tell us that 'Champions don't fall"
We watched with blazing pride as time stood still and Thomas reached out with his hands to crawl and haul his body across the finish line. His feet may have failed him but his soul did not.

In his spent and almost delirious state, his first words were:

"How did we do?"
"Sorry, I fell"

So let me tell you about crossing finishing lines-

1)Team before self.
2)Taking ownership for our actions: both success and failure.
3)Giving all you have and then some more.

THAT is the Victorian Spirit in word, action and deed.
The world would have you believe that champions don't fall.
The world would have you believe that encouragement consists of a pat on the back when you're doing well.

Victoria School begs to differ:
We tell you and we ingrain in you:
We say "Boys, we EXPECT you to FALL- otherwise, how will you be able to stretch your limits?"

Because in your time with us, we are going to make Men out of you and push you to your limits and beyond. You will be something more in word, action and deed.

We say "It's not how many times you fall that we're worried about; it's how many times you get up"
We say "The difference between a winner and a champion is that the Winner got the medal, the Champion won the race."
We say encouragement isn't about patting ourselves on the back when we do well; it's telling ourselves to do better when we are facing difficulty.

Just look at our boys cheering away at Turf City. You would think that we had walked away with the B and C Division Championship medal from the way we cheer!

It is with a fierce Victorian pride in my heart as I challenge anyone else out there to show this level of 'encouragement' when YOU LOSE.
We are often imitated, sometimes replicated but we can never be duplicated!

They say 'Champions don't fall down'; we say that "It is getting up from your falls that make you champions"

That is the difference in coaching philosophy between the arrogance of winning schools and resilience of champion schools.

Yesterday, it's true we were definitely not winners... we were something more.

Viva Victoria

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

National Interschools Wushu Championships (Team Finals)

Today our C-Div and B-Div boys competed in the Group Quan and Group Weapons for their respective divisions. We had hopes for placing in at least 2 events.

First off, was the C-Div Group Quan. Our boys did a traditional Northern Shaolin Routine-"Shaolin Paochui Xiao Hong Quan".

This was a routine taught to me by my Sifu after his first few trips to China when it first opened up its doors in the early 1980s. Complete with trademark Shaolin moves "Arhat Sleeping", "Virgin Boy Praying to Buddha", it was a routine I had competed in 2003 during the National Interschool Wushu Championships (representing NIE- this was before Interschool competitions were run by MOE and traditional events were eliminated)and gotten a Bronze for it. The boys did well but the judges were not impressed, so we didn't managed to get placed.

Next, was the B-Div Quan. Our boys did a traditional Southern Shaolin Routine this time-"Xia Jia Quan".

This was a form that me and my training buddies performed in 2003 at the National Indoor Stadium for the National Wushu Demonstration 2003 organised by SNWF.
Our 'Naruto' style entrance and precision timing was well carried out by the boys. But again the judges were not impressed, their attention was captivated by the acrobatic stunts performed by other teams. Again, we didn't manage to secure a placing.

Next, came our C-Div Group Weapons event. Last year, our C-Div managed to pull a huge upset when our Double Dagger routine clinched Silver. Losing only to first place Chung Cheng High's 7.90 by 0.02 to get a score of 7.88 to get Silver.

Despite putting our 2 acrobats- Jin Jie and Xiang Ting, in to give a stronger closing sequence, history was not to be repeated. Again the judges were not impressed, even when we had included their favourite acrobatic stunts. Worse still, the boys were so hyped up that they completed the routine ahead of time (52 secs instead of taking at least 1min) and we were penalised 0.2 points. Once again, we did not manage to secure a placing.

Finally, our B-Div Group Weapons. This was last year's C-Div team that had clinched Silver for us. For them, we reworked the footwork, having the boys do their moves while intersecting each other. We changed the alignment to a more complex mirror image facing one and had our two most experienced members Wayne and Sean perform their routine intersecting each other

Wayne and Sean were the crucial 'pivot men' for this routine and they pulled the mirror-imaging and intersecting moves off flawlessly. With their tight timing and fluid intersection, the boys delivered exactly what I asked for. And yet again, the judges were not impressed. Turns out, they preferred routines that had multiple changes in formations (i.e. think NDP- your form circle, then you run, run, run; form square, then jump here, jump there, form an equilateral triangle), rather than routines designed to show the way a weapon is meant to be used. So once again, VS was eliminated from placing.

With that, any hopes of squeezing into either C-Div or B-Div Top 4 placing disappeared. No matter that the C-Div was in the spot for contention with 33 points as of Fri, or that the B-Div had a shot for 4th placing with our 16 points- not placing in the Group Events effectively eliminated us from the competition. There were alot of 'what ifs' amongst the boys and me: what if we were not given some of the bizarre penalties against us, what if the accident didn't happen during C-Boys Group Sparring, what if we had added more stunts, etc.

But let's look at what we got this year: 5 Golds, 2 Silvers, 2 Bronzes (one 3rd, one 4th)
We competed in the most number of individual events ever, more than double from last year.
We competed in all the group events and sparring events.
We are now stronger than before and we cannot be ignored.
ALL of you, ALL of you contributed to this improvement in the team.
When we sang the Victorian Anthem at the close of the day, we announced our presence to the rest of the other competing teams.
We declared to them that we are here to stay and that we will grow into a force to be reckoned with.

To our respected opponents,
We will train hard to prove ourselves worthy of the challenge next year.

To the Red and Black shirts,
You arrived just in time for our first event when the C-Div boys were about to do their Group Quan. Just knowing that you all came, lit up all their faces. Knowing that we had the support of the Victorian Red and Black Team made a tremendous boost to our morale.

To the Team:
you did VS proud today when you performed with all your heart- I saw it, the teachers that came down saw it, our Red and Black Team saw it and we know that you gave your all.

No teacher or coach can ask for more.
In that, I am proud of you, you are my first team guys and you are my only team.
You are my champions because you show the world that there is 'Nothing without Labore' and that with Hardwork, Everything is Possible.

We've just begun the journey- it's not who starts the fastest but who makes it to the end that matters.

Let's walk this road together, you, me and the ENTIRE VS family.
Together, we will make history.

Visit by Thai Education Delegation From Patumwan Demonstration School

Today, delegates from the Patumwan Demonstration School visited VS.
They were brought on a tour of the school and hostel. Mr Low, our principal gave them a sharing on our history and they had a guided tour of our school facilities accompanied by some of our ASEAN scholars from Thailand.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Going to Battle- Words of Encouragement to the VS Wushu Team

To the team,

"It is not whether we win or lose that matters; it's how we play the game."

In Victoria School, there are 4 things that we do not do:
We don't cheat, we don't lie, we don't steal and we don't bully.

So remember:
Play fairly, even if it means defeat; so that you can always hold your head high.
Always tell the truth, even if it falls on deaf ears and even if you get punished for it; because then you can be a man of your word.
The only time you steal is when you steal away from bad company so that you will not be influenced by them.
Protect those weaker than ourselves, protect the ones we love; that is what we train for.

Boys, no let me rephrase that, Men;
when you are out there on the floor, a part of me is always with you. I rejoice each day that I spend working and training with all of you for the common love of the art, for the desire to make something more of ourselves and for the indomitable pride we have for our school.

I have watched each and every one of you grow:
Lim Shi Xian- From the 'quiet', blur, blur little fella, it's been good to see you train so hard and so obediently. I am sure you will continue to do well as long as you manage your time well."

Tan Yu Da- I am glad that I chose you to be in the team as 1st CCA. Although there are others more talented than you, it is your willingness to work hard that will set you apart. Constantly remind yourself of your basics and stancework and you will definitely improve.

Ryan Goh Ming Sheng- One worry I have is on the continuity of the team as the older students move up. But I see a maturity and strong sense of principles in you that goes beyond your age- don't lose sight of that and you'll grow up to be a strong, independant leader.

Tan Xiang Ting- You are my mischievous little monkey! Sometimes I want to strangle you when you are so playful; at other times your openness, cheerfulness and just plain liveliness is so infectious. If you can hold on to your bubbling personality and yet be serious and humble when someone is trying to teach you, you will definitely make a name for yourself- the key to this is seriousness and humility.

Jin Zhen Yu- When you first started with VS, I believe your mother was very concerned about how you would fit in, how you would adapt. But look at you now- a true blue Victorian. You are beginning to build up confidence in your routines. Learn to look up when you perform- that will give you the confidence and strength that you need.

Fung Jin Jie- JJ, you have matured alot. You're still playful but I am glad that you have learnt and grown from all the scolding and nagging that we have given you. I am glad to see you start to take a more active role in guiding and coaching the juniors. This means that you are no longer just merely a good athlete, you are starting to become a leader. This means that you will need to exhibit good values to be a role model. If you achieve that, then you will have earned the respects of your team mates as well as your competitors.

Wu Zheng Feng- I glad you stuck around and decided to hang on with us. From the seemingly uninterested begining you have with us, you have continued to become an integral part of the team. Your continued training with your coach has also allowed you to benefit from both worlds as I see a marked improvement in your skills. Don't be afraid to look the world in the eye, keep your head up, for I see a strength within that will emerge if you just allow it to.

Chang Wei Liang- Your mischievousness is only second to small-txt! You have a habit of looking for excuses and clowning around but actually you have organisational capabilities and are able to rally people around you. You need to be serious. Learn to distinguish the time to be playful and the time to focus and you will find that where you lead, people will follow.

Kristanto Pramana- From having no background in wushu, and no understanding the language, you have joined us on this journey. It has been an intensive crash course and I am proud that you have stayed and not quit. Although you are the most inexperienced member, I am so very proud to see your progress. Stay with us and I guarantee that next year, you'll be even stronger.

Chang Jun Rong- Junrong, stop beating yourself down. You keep insisting that you have zero talent, and that saddens me. If I were to nominate a Most-Improved-Team member for 2007 (2006 was Wei Lie!), it would be you! You have worked as hard as the rest and improved as much- so don't sell yourself short. You owe it to yourself, to your team mates and you owe it to me, yes me; to stop seeing yourself in a negative light and begin to see yourself as you truly can be: a champion. Remember, there are no losers in Victoria School and definitely none in our team. Without you, Hongyun would have no lion-tail. You are an indispensable part of us and you make us complete.

Seow Jun Yan- Somehow I wonder how we ended up sharing the same surname. Haiz.. if you focus more on chasing the right things: i.e. training, studies, etc; rather than after handphone numbers from strange girls, then I'm sure you'll do well. Speaking from experience I can safetly tell you that is not how much you try to attract a girl that makes her fall for you; it's how much character you have that attracts a girl to fall for you. Build your character and learn to 'eat bitter' a bit more, that will give you more character and substance- the rest will fall in place (after your hormones have stabilised from puberty)

Wayne Kang Jian Kai- You have earned the respect of everyone in the team. You may be small in stature but you are big in heart and strong in dependability. I know that when I entrust something to you, that it is in good hands. When I picked a Captain, I didn't look for mere talent; I looked for dependability and reliability. You have never disappointed me or the team in this area. You only need to be less hard on yourself, learn to enjoy the work that you put in so that you function more efficiently and effectively. I see you working and training so hard for the team and for yourself; but most importantly, I want to see you enjoy your training. Appointment as team Captain is meant as a reward, not to pressurise you. Rest assured that even if the team NEVER wins a single medal, you NEVER win a single medal; the whole team, your parents especially and I, will still be as proud of you as our Captain as ever because you have earned it through hardwork and determination. You VS' and my first Wushu Team Captain and everyone else from now one comes after you- be proud that you have been a pioneer because nothing can take that away from you.

Sean Ho Kai Jie- Despite juggling your Scouts and Wushu, I'm glad to see you have continued to stick with us. Like Wayne, I feel that you are another pillar of the team. In order for you to grow, you need to learn to take ownership of your own actions rather than get people to speak for you or use other people as reasons or excuses. Champion your own causes and take responsibility for them; rather than be influenced by people or use them to fight your causes. When you achieve that, you know that you are you own man and can stand your ground.

Terence Kwok Guan Hui- Kwokster, I know you struggle to keep up and manage the demands of training with your Scouts and AEP but I see the tremendous effort you put in and the improvements you've made. I know it's hard for you to do certain moves and certain stances that come more easily to other but I know you try and I know you try very hard. That is all that is important to me- don't ever give up Terence. Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can do or can't do. We each have our strengths and weaknesses; and as you work on strengthening those weaknesses, you can only get stronger.

Muhd Azhri- The 'Huat-ster' of the team, because of you we need sub-titles now. But it is a strong testament to VS and to the Team to have you, a non-chinese, as our member. I was doubtful in the beginning whether you would stay long and you proved me wrong. I'm so happy for that. Learn to be more serious and I'm sure the language barrier was never be an issue here in VS- after all, you're the one who started the 'Huat-ster' phenomenon.

Tan Xiang Tian- Like a transfer player from another football team, I was always concerned about how you would fit in and how you would cope academically. Your progress and work both in the team and in studies have been good and I am glad to see that you have become a Victorian in such a short time. Many of the seniors look up to you as a comrade and guide because you have a wider store of experience and are willing to share with them. However, don't let your past experience box you in and make you only want to be content doing things that you are familiar with. Open your mind to new experiences, even if they seem strange or not something you may be comfortable with. Rather than limit yourself to perfecting things that you can already do well; start to move beyond your comfort zone into areas that you have not tried before and that you may not do well- this is what will stretch your capabilities and make you more all-rounded.

Laird Agus Winata- I'm glad to see you and Kristanto join the team. Coming from Indonesia, this is a good way to get back in touch with your Chinese roots. I hope that learning Wushu will teach you more than a few routines, rather I hope it will allow you to discover who you are and be able to push yourself further. As a scholar, I hope this will allow you to make the best use of your time in Singapore, become a truly global citizen in this day and age.

Pang Hong Yun- Our 'oldest' member. Undoubtedly, you are one of the most all-rounded members. Me and Sifu Loh see so much potential in you. I know that you are older than most of the guys in your class, so especially now in upper sec, it is important for you to act YOUR age; not THEIR age. As long as you remain willing to learn, you will progress. While JJ, txt and TXT are do well in the modern wushu; you are the one that will keep tradition going in Lion-dance and traditional styles. Each of these has its own path. Open your mind and remain humble and willing to learn, and you too will have the tools to walk a path of your own one day into uncharted territories.

Tan Lye Huat & Liu Wei Lie- Both of you have graduated, moved on to JC, started a new academic life, with new friends and environment.
There is no need for you both to come back week after week. Yet you do.
There is no reward for coming back: no CCA points, no money, no benefit. Yet you return.
In fact, you end up doing work for the team: helping the juniors, helping out, giving morale support. Sometimes, weeks go by without you learning anything from me. And yet you come.

Weilie, you are the most improved student I've seen. You could hardly kick when you first came, now you can help me teach the C-Div Dagger routine. Same for Lye Huat, when we first started push-hands, you could hardly hold your balance; now we're doing flow drills in stick fighting!

Everytime, you come back, I feel proud that VS instilled the right values in you and that the team has become a place where you belong. We are always a part of us.

Sleep well boys, and think of who you are now and what you train for.
Sleep well boys, and think of what you can be and what your future holds.
Sleep well boys, for tomorrow I'll call you Men because we go to battle together.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Victorian Challenge 2007- Sec 2A Chalk Mural in Carpark

For this year's Victorian Challenge, our Form Class of Sec 2A, has proposed a chalk mural painting project.

Boys, here are some samples of really 'tok kong' chalk murals painted by Julian Beever. Notice how the artist makes use of perspective to make the drawings 'leap out' of the sidewalk at you.

We can use the same concepts in our Victorian Challenge- I'm sure we'll definitely transform the school landscape into something cool and worth remembering!

For the VS WUSHU Team: Know yourselves, Sons of Victoria, Know yourselves

Last year in 2006, VS instituted the CCA leaders investiture as a combined investiture for all levels of student leaders. Every CCA was to design its own flag and insignia and all appointment holders: Captains, Vice-Captains, rank-holders, would be part invested in a ceremony where they were conferred their appointments.
As part of the ceremony, student leaders recited their pledge where they expressed their intentions to be role-models embodying the best of Victorian ideals.

I had the priviledge and honor of drafting that pledge:

Student Leaders’ Pledge

We hereby pledge that as Leaders,
We shall always be Gentlemen
who seek to do the right things
with integrity and compassion.

As Professionals, we will not be content with mediocrity
We will learn and strive to be the best in the classroom and on the field.
We seek to do the right things and to do things right.

As Sportsmen, we will constantly push our boundaries.
We will lose with pride and win with humility.
We will play the game of life and emerge Champions

As Victorian Leaders,
we hereby pledge to serve the school and our community in all that we do.
We will give the best of ourselves, in each and every moment of our lives.
We live neither in the past nor in the future but in the moment.
And our moment is is Now.
We will give of our best Now and always because we are Victorians
And Victorians are something more.

It was in composing this pledge and the preparation for the Student Leader's Investiture that led to the subsequent design of our VS WUSHU Team's Flag.

In designing this flag, I made a pun on the Chinese phrase "Wo Wu Wei Yang"-"I embody the Martial Values", replacing the Wei character for Magnificence with the Wei used in the Chinese spelling of Victoria School. I wanted the flag to be a reminder to all in the VS Wushu team that we, as a team, must be proud of our school and must in turn strive unceasingly to make our school proud of us.

In all that we do, in all that we are, we must seek to be more than mediocre and to make the best of ourselves. When you wear the the team t-shirt, know that you wear more than just a nice design. Look beyond the surface meaning of the pictures and see what lies beneath:

A young man, with arms extended, holding a halbred, stands against a patterned background of yellow, red and black (our school colours).
If you look carefully at the background, you'll see that it is the Chinese word for 'Light' guang
The young man holding the halbred with his arms stretched out, symbolises 'Protection' or 'Guarding', he represents the Chinese word bao.
This design is to remind you all whenever you wear the VS Wushu T-shirt, that you protect and guard the best that VS has to offer. You are the light that shines, that makes the school proud.
This design is also a tribute to my own 2 sifus, who to this day, are continually teaching me and giving me support by helping me train you. The 2 words for 'Light' and 'Protection' come from their names.

So boys, we talk of having 130 years of proud tradition in VS.
What is this tradition made of? What does it consist of? What do we preserve in our tradition.

You must be able to know in order for your tradition to be worth preserving. Otherwise, all our cheers, all our claims are just empty noise.

Friday, April 13, 2007

National Interschool Wushu Championships (Day 5 Results)

Current Medal Tally
Day 1 Results----------------------------Day 2 Results
Tan Xiang Ting---------------------------Tan Xiang Tian
"5-Duan Chang Quan" = Gold
-----------"Nan Dao" = Silver

Tan Xiang Tian
"Nanquan-1st Int'l" = 4th
Day 3 Results-----------------------------Day 4 Results
Tan Xiang Ting ---------------------------Fung Jin Jie
"4-Duan Spear" = Gold
-------------------"Chang Quan 1st Intl" = Silver
---------------------------------------------"Cudgel 1st Intl" =Gold
Tan Xiang Tian
"Nan Gun" = Gold
Day 5 Results
Fung Jin Jie
"BroadSword 2nd Intl" = Gold

B-Div Boys
Group Sparring = Bronze

Day 5 of Competition, final day for all individual events.
Everything boils down to this point whether next Tuesdays Group Quan and Group Weapons will make a difference to overall scoring.

For VS, it was a day of hit and misses.
From Sec 2C, Fung Jin Jie clinched Gold comfortably in his Broadsword 2nd Intl Routine. It is a routine that Jin Jie has performed many times for school and even Chingay. He managed a clear win with a 8.53.

Our hopes for a triple Gold hat-trick from 1G's Tan Xiang Ting slipped away when he wasn't able to place in highly competitive and tightly fought the C-Div 4 Duan Sword event.

My proudest moment of the compeition occured today when I saw our B-Boys team comprising of Captain- Wayne Kang (3D), 2nd Vice-Captain- Sean Ho (3D) and Tan Xiang Tian (3I) make a breakthrough performance for VS by getting a Bronze medal in our first ever foray into the Group Sparring category. My heart started beating hard and fast the moment they registered for the even because we knew that we stood a chance but a very slim chance because our competitors were stronger, had well-established routines that were rehearsed from generation to generation of each batch and had consistently placed in the Interschool Competiton.
What we had was a tailor-made routine, choreographed with the invaluable assistance of one of my own sifu's Master Victor Chong to suit the strength of all 3 boys.
And indeed they did not disappoint: Xiang Tian fulfilled his role as the key 'Pivot Man' controlling the tempo, pace and structure of the event. Wayne and Sean gave a seamless performance matching timing, attack and counter-attack with Xiang Tian and by the skin of our teeth, we pulled it off with no visible mistakes: what I call a Solid Run. That allowed us to skim through into 3rd when more experience teams displayed some visible fumbles.

With that triumph, we were poised for a stronger chance in the C Boys Group Sparring event. There was a lot riding on this event as it was more technically demanding and would determine if we had any chance of making history when the final points from all events are tabled next Tue. Although the routine was more technically demanding- a spear vs broadsword with shield routine, we had our 2 acrobatic experts Fung Jin Jie from 2C and Tan Xiang Ting from 1G. Xiang Ting was an expert spear handle and won his Gold in the 4 Duan Spear this competition; likewise, Jin Jie was no stranger to the broadsword clinching his Gold today.

This was the event that held special meaning for me because I had spent long hours researching, thinking and choreographing this routine specially to showcase the dynamism and acrobatic ability of these boys. (You can see the evolution of this routine from conception to its final stage in the VS Wushu Blog)

I had given my best efforts to choreographing and developing this routine from scratch for the boys, I even got my other Sifu, Master Loh Poh Swee, to do a 'Quality Control' check and rework some of the martial scripting to ensure more coherent fight logic.

With bated breath, we waited and watched as the other teams did their routines. And as the teams before us did their stuff, I knew in my heart that we stood a chance not only to place in the top 3 but to actually contend for Gold. When the pair of Jin Jie and Xiang Ting took to the floor, we cheered out hearts out for them.
Then 5 secs into the routine, time stopped for me.
Just in the opening seconds when they flourished their weapons, Xiang Ting dropped the spear. With that my heart stopped.
Picking up the spear, the boys then proceeded to completed the routine without a single hitch after that, getting all the jumps, parrys and counter-attacks, right on
cue. But the damage was already done- a dropped weapon carries a 0.5 penalty from each judge. We ended with a final score of 7.5. Total calculations showed that without that 0.5 penalty, we would have an average of 8.0- definitely in contention for 1st place.

In this, we have only ourselves to blame.
I know that in the course of these intense 5 days of competition, many queries were raised by different parties over certain controversial penalties and judging inconsistencies. But as I have always said, "It's ok to make mistakes- no one is perfect; but take ownership for all your actions, good and bad. That is what makes you, a Victorian, something more."
No one penalised us- we penalised ourselves.
No one won over us- it is we that lost.
No one had an unfair advantage- we became complaceny in our skills and mastery of weapons we thought we handled so well.

Boys, there are 2 important lessons to learn from this:
Lesson (1) Do not take life for granted- everything comes at a price.
-Never assume that today's success guarantees you tomorrows fame because a careless moment will undo all your previous hardwork
-Never assume that accidents only happen to other people: the 2 boys that drowned in Pasir Ris, our foolish Victorian who broke his elbow in a previous post, etc. All this happen because we take things for granted.

Lesson (2) Take ownership for all that you do
-Do not make others do the work for your success: It's amazing how many parents want their sons to play rugby to toughen them up but you see the maid carrying the kid's bag to training for him, helping him wipe his sweat during break time and giving him his bottled ribena. You want to play a Man's game, then for goodness sake, behave like a man. Carry your own bag, pack it yourself; otherwise, you might as well have all our domestic helpers wear rugby boots and play for the boys.
-The first step to overcoming weakness is to acknowledge it: someone who says, "Shucks, I'm sorry, it's my fault- can you help me to be better and improve" is likely to succeed and really improve because he is teachable and able to take honest assessments of his own short-comings and turn them into strengths.
The person who starts with "Hey, don't blame me, wasn't my fault. How was I supposed to know this would happen? The floor was slippery, so I tripped; The weapons was rough so it slipped-If other people had done their part, I wouldn't have screwed up." Often this person ends up alone, isolated and unable to progress because no matter how good, how talented he is; he presents himself as arrogant, stubborn and worse of all, unteachable.

Yes, I was disappointed with the mishap but what will really break my heart is when you make these mistakes because you do not approach your training or competition seriously. Or if you ever think that you are a super star and the entire team owes its success to you.

Don't fear your competitor or be intimidated by him; but do not underestimate him and ridicule him either.

The mark of a true Professional is that when he triumphs, he is humble and does not ridicule his competitor because he knows that it takes the strongest opponent to bring out the best in him.
And you know you have become a true Sportsman when your opponents are happy for you even when you win them because you have earned their respect.
And you know you have become a true Gentleman, when you lose and your opponents come to you and say that you actually should have won them.

We have one more competition day to go- it looks like a losing battle, the odds are against us, the group events are even more competitive, our chances of getting a placing in any of them is slim and even if we do, it might not make a difference.
You could quit now and spare me and yourselves alot of pain and heartache.Or are you willing to give your all to the end, knowing that there might be no prize, no medal, no trophy, nothing but the phrase "Well done, boys. Although you lost but you did well." as your reward?

For me, I made my declaration long ago- That is why I put our team name on my car. So that everywhere I go, people will know that I coach the VS Wushu Team. It is there permanently for all to see. Everyday when I drive, I remind myself that the thing I am most proud of having achieved, is to have been able to setup and coach the Wushu Team in VS.
This insignia is my committment in word and action NEVER to QUIT fighting for the team.

What do you fight for boys? What do you fight for?
Me, I fight for each and everyone of you:
That you will become something more than I am,
That you will be able to stand on my shoulders and see further and climb higher.

What do you fight for boys, what do you fight for?

Hostel Room Check

Yes, it's time for our termly hostel room check.

This month's overall cleanliness rating for the boys block was atrocious but I'm glad to say that none of my boarders rooms were amongst the 'black listed' ones.
Here's the results, boys.

H1-04-04 very good
H1-04-05 good
H1-04-06 good
H1-04-16 very good
H1-04-17 good
H1-04-18 good
H1-04-19 very good
H1-06-19 satisfactory
H1-06-22 satisfactory

And as promised, if ever there is an occasion where ALL rooms under me score 'Very Good' (i.e. A and above), there will be a special supper treat.
Likely menu:
1) Satay
2) Vegetarian Pizza (for our vegetarians)
3) BBQ Chicken Wing
4) Ice Cream

You want it boys? Then you work for it.
To inspire you, here is a shot of the best cupboard from H1-04-04 to show you what standards are possible amongst our guys

Neat, right? You can all do it. Let's make ourselves proud as the cleaness and tidiest group of boarders in Victoria Hall.

You just so close to achieving my target of all A's in cleanliness- help each other.
Remember also that all rooms on 4th floor close to my apartment are to have shoe racks for your extra shoes by this week end- there should be no more shoes along the corridor walkway.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

National Interschool Wushu Championships (Day 4 Results)

Current Medal Tally
Day 1 Results
Tan Xiang Ting
"5-Duan Chang Quan" = Gold

Tan Xiang Tian
"Nanquan-1st Int'l" = 4th

Day 2 Results
Tan Xiang Tian
"Nan Dao" = Silver

Day 3 Results
Tan Xiang Ting
"4-Duan Spear" = Gold

Tan Xiang Tian
"Nan Gun" = Gold

Day 4 Results
Fung Jun Jie
"Chang Quan 1st Intl" = Silver
"Cudgel 1st Intl" =Gold

Fung Jin Jie, from Sec 2C made his debut performance for VS today. He participated in the C-Boys Chang Quan 1st International Routine and Cudgel 1st International Routine. After a stunning Chang Quan routine, Jinjie eclipsed the competition with a score of 8.56 with the nearest closest score bieng only a 8.38. He would have gotten a 8.66 but harsh judging penalized him a 0.1 for a missing transition movement.
In the end, he had to settle for Silver as a later competitor score 8.60. It was a near miss for Jin Jie as he would have definitely cliched the Gold if not for that deduction.
Jin Jie's Changquan Routine

But in the words of Jin Jie's father "It's not important whether you win or lose; it's knowing what you did wrong and how to improve that matters and make a strong comeback."

And what a comeback he gave! In the later Cudgel event, Jin Jie confidently swept Gold with a 8.26, with the closest being 7.91. Granted that there were only 5 competitors in total for the Cudgel event but each individual out there was giving their best and there was no room for complacency even in a event with less participants.
Jin Jie's Cudgel Routine

Our total medal tally for both B and C Div so far is:
4 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze (4th)

Tommorrow is the deciding factor, with 2 more individual events and our highly anticipated Group Sparring Events.

Sleep well boys tonight for tommorrow you fight for your right to earn a place in the proud 130 years history of Victoria School.

Nil Sine Labore

Do the Right Things and do Things Right.

Boys, as mentioned during assembly today, some of you have been flouting school rules by playing soccer in the tennis court. Yesterday, one of you played soccer in the tennis court and made a failed attempted to 'jump' over the tennis net. This 'acrobatic' student then caught his foot in the netting causing him to trip and fall. Unfortunately for him, he broke his fall on his right elbow causing both a dislocation and fracture.

Boys, we have told you many times not to do foolish things and take your personal safety for granted. The PE Dept has given clear instructions that no soccer is allowed to be played in the tennis courts unless expressly supervised during PE as there has been constant damage to the nets by students leaning on them, kicking the ball against the net, etc.

Bad things happen when we take things for granted. In fact, I just spoke to my classes on the tragedy of the 2 boys that drowned at Pasir Ris- that is a tragedy. But the incident of jumping over the tennis net and falling, that, I am sad to say is pure stupidity.

Surely, as Victorian's you have the capacity for thinking and acting in the right way.
As our DM, MR Maran says "It is not enough to do the right things, we must do things right"
Some of you boys are doing the wrong things, and worse still, are doing things 'wrongly'.

Boys, do not put yourself, your parents and your teachers through this needless heartache. All this could have been avoided. When the accident happens and then you say "Sorry, I won't do it the next time", it is too late already.

"Sorry, I won't do it the next time" will not bring back the 2 boys drowned at Pasir Ris and will leave their families and friends scarred from the event.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

National Interschool Wushu Championships (Day 3 Results)

Current Medal Tally
Day 1 Results
Tan Xiang Ting
"5-Duan Chang Quan" = Gold

Tan Xiang Tian
"Nanquan-1st Int'l" = 4th

Day 2 Results
Tan Xiang Tian
"Nan Dao" = Silver

Day 3 Results
Tan Xiang Ting
"4-Duan Spear" = Gold

Tan Xiang Tian
"Nan Gun" = Gold

Today, the Tan brothers scored a double whammy for VS by getting 2 Gold medals each. Elder brother, Xiang Tian got 8.46 in his B-Div Nan Gun to clinch Gold

Younger brother, Xiang Ting, got 8.40 in his C-Div 4 Duan Spear to also clinch the Gold Medal.

Their relentless training has paid off and this addition of 2 Gold medals brings our total medal tally to 3 Golds, 1 Silver and 1 4th Bronze.

The rest of the team competing in the 4 Duan Cudgel did not manage to get placing but showed an improvement over last year. What could have improved our boys performance is a greater sense of focus. There is too much negative self-talk and self-defeating "what if" questions that you all pop to me at the last minute:
"What if I lose my balance today?", "Got people tell me my routine wrong. How?"
Focus on what you need to DO, rather than ask me what happens if you end up doing the things you are NOT SUPPOSED to do.

I can accept you trying your best and not getting any medal, I can even accept mistakes when you lose your balance.
What I cannot accept is lack of seriousness when you turn the entire competitive attempt into a joke.
What I cannot accept is letting your belt come undone in the middle of the routine.
What I cannot accept is joking and making noise during other people's events but freaking yourself and your team-mates out during your own attempt by painting all the possible worst case scenarios.
All these negative self-talk is contagious and a deadly distraction from the task at hand- giving your best performance.

Winning is not everything but the DESIRE to WIN- that is EVERYTHING.
You were dejected yesterday, so I encouraged you.
You were not serious today, so I reprimand you.
But tommorow: tomorrow is a new day-
And whether you stand humbled in victory or proud in defeat,
Know that I will always stand beside you.

Remember, we are something more.
Nil Sine Labore

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

National Interschool Wushu Championships (Day 2 Results)

Current Medal Tally
Day 1 Results
Tan Xiang Ting
"5-Duan Chang Quan" = Gold

Tan Xiang Tian
"Nanquan-1st Int'l" = 4th

Day 2 Results
Tan Xiang Tian
"Nan Dao" = Silver

Today, Tan Xiang Tian from Sec 3I gathered his second medal for VS by clinching a Silver in another fiercely contested event.
Here we see Xiang Tian giving us his best during the event:

The rest of the boys competition for the 4-Duan Sabre in C, B and A Divisions all did not manage to get any placing for the event. I know that the boys are disappointed especially when they have made a marked improvement by all accounts. I know what hit some of them the hardest was the bizzare deduction of points by Head Judge due to 'Missing Steps'. Since we all have the same version of the routine, what did some of them leave out?
While this puzzles us, as Sportsmen, we must abide by the judges decision. Let us ask ourselves how we can improve each year and avoid such penalties. Indeed, compared to previous year, all the boys raw scores have improved.
The 4-Duan Sabre is a hot category (together with the 4-Duan Cudgel) with over 40 participants, of which many are seasoned competitors who are already competent in the more advanced International Routines. Thus, there is no shame in participating and not getting placed.

Boys, listen up and listen good:
I don't want you to be good martial artists in order to compete for the school; I want you to compete for the school so that YOU will become good martial artists.
There's a whole lot of difference here.

I am interested in your fight, your battles, your personal endeavours, win or lose, as a person. It is YOU the Winner; not you Winning something that is important to me.
And if your goal of competing is to bring out the best in your self and you all go out and do your best, then how can you lose?

Boys, you are all winners to me.
Hold your heads high, all of you, because the tomorrow is another day and we stand together and fight together every step of the way.

VS- All the Way!

Monday, April 9, 2007

National Interschool Wushu Championships (Day 1 Results)

VS First Wushu Gold Medal for 2007!
Day 1 Results
Tan Xiang Ting
"5-Duan Chang Quan" = Gold

Tan Xiang Tian
"Nanquan-1st Int'l" = 4th

Tan Xiang Ting brought honor to the school today by bringing in our first Gold medal in the competition.

Despite being the very first competitor to go up in his event (the first competitor is often used as the bench-marking point), Xiang Ting put up such a strong showing that he managed to stay in the lead out of 14 competitors.

Elder brother, Xiang Tian also put up a strong showing in his 5-Duan Nanquan and was looking at a 3rd placing in his tightly contested event. However, a 0.02 addition by Chief Judge to a fellow competitor that tied with him in raw score, pushed Xiang Tian to 4th. Nevertheless, Xiang Tian did VS proud too and we must accept learn to accept upsets graciously as Gentlemen, Professionals and Sportsmen.

Sec 1 new-comer, Ryan Goh did well in his first attempt for VS getting a score of 8.0, placing him in the upper third of his 5-Duan Nanquan. Pang Hong Yun from Sec 3, competed in the A Division due to his age (haiz.. why you so old lah) and although suffering from a thigh injury sustained 2 weeks ago learning his 5-Duan Nanquan, he managed to pull through and complete the entire routine with no hiccups. That too, is a triumph as far as I am concerned and I am equally proud of each and every one of you all.

Clip of the Day- Tan Xiang Ting and his 5-Duan Changquan

Sunday, April 8, 2007

National Interschool Wushu Championships- The Journey Begins

On Monday, VS will begin our participation in the National Interschool Wushu Championships.

Here are our schedule of events:

Mon 9th Apr
5-Duan Nanquan
Ryan Goh Ming Sheng

5-Duan Changquan
Tan Xiang Ting

5-Duan Nanquan
Pang Hong Yun

Nan Quan (1st Int)
Tan Xiang Tian

Tue 10th Apr
Nan Dao
Tan Xiang Tian

4-Duan Broadsword
Wu Zheng Feng
Ryan Goh Ming Sheng

4-Duan Broadsword
Sean Ho Kai Jie
Wayne Kang Jian Kai

4-Duan Broadsword
Pang Hong Yun

Wed 11th Apr
4-Duan Cudgel
Seow Jun Yan
Chang Jun Rong

Nan Gun
Tan Xiang Tian

4-Duan Cudgel
Chang Wei Liang
Tan Yu Da

4-Duan Spear
Tan Xiang Ting

Nan Gun
Pang Hong Yun

Thu 12th Apr
Chang Quan (1st Int)
Fung Jun Jie

Cudgel (1st Int)
Fung Jun Jie

Fri 13th Apr
4-Duan Sword
Tan Xiang Ting

Broadsword (2nd Int)
Fung Jun Jie

Group Sparring
Tan Xiang Tian, Wayne Kang & Sean Ho

Group Sparring
Fung Jun Jie & Tan Xiang Ting

Tue 17th Apr
Group Quan
Shaolin Xiao Hong Quan

Group Quan
Xia Jia Quan

Group Weapon

Group Weapon

From the 6 member team we had last year, where we fought tooth and nail in the C-Boys Group Weapons event scoring 7.88 to clinch 2nd place. 1st place went to Chung Cheng High with 7.90- a difference of a mere .02 points! Indeed a tough fight for placing!

This year, you can see that the team has grown and we know that we face ever increasing challenges as all the teams get stronger. From having 6 regular members, we now number close to 20 totalling all in both C-Div and B-Div. Here we see the boys hard at work on the same routine for Group Weapons.

We have grown in strength- both in numbers and ability and have taken root now in VS.
Today, we begin our battle boys:
We fight not for mere medals, for fight not for personal glory but we fight for a chance to make history in this beloved school of ours.

I urge all Victorians, to support our Wushu Team in this crucial time- lend them your support and help them to be something more
Nil Sine Labore

Victoria School Annual Sports Day

VS Annual Sports Day was held on Thu 5th Apr 2007 at VJC.
Here we see the B3 boys in the 100m Sprint.

In the heat of intense competition, the different houses all strove to pit their best against each other. In their bid to cross the finishing lines, we see some boys suffering from muscle cramps.
Here we see the hard working Red Cross boys at work- providing first aid, massaging athletes and yes, even a portable human shade shelter.

All in all, it was a sad day for our Whampoa house, despite our final moment of glory- coming first in the Staff Race, we were disqualified. Haiz... one of our staff runners was in the wrong lane, so despite my frantic dash across the finishing line, I also kena disqualified. Wah Lau... such is life.
But next year, we'll be back. WHAMPOA HOUSE! POWER POWER POWER....

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sec 2 PE- 2A Soccer

It's been awhile since we had some video posts (since the whole PE Department was engaged in an off-site Assessment training course)

Sec 2A was last seen doing soccer and learning how to retrieve floating objects in the school pond when we last saw them.

Today, we re-visit passing and do a pass and go drill, where 2 players are in a 4 square grid. Players cannot be in the same square with each other and each time they pass the ball they run to a free square and receive the next pass.
Later, they had to do it with 2 defenders intercepting

Lesson learnt today:
If you see the incoming shot aimed at me, it seems highly probable that PE teachers may have to wear motocycle helmets when teaching soccer. Otherwise, might kena concussion. :)