The Winning Spirit

A healthy body, a healthy mind.  That is one of the principles that I have always believed in.  For the teachers of the school, Sports’ Day has always been very taxing to organize.  Apart from their daily routine in preparing their lesson plan, setting test papers and a whole lot of marking students’ exercises which can get as high as the teacher’s head… literally.

Teacher preparing the participants' numbers.
Teacher Chin Mui Choo preparing the participants’ numbers, without which the participants will not be allowed to compete.

Sports Day, for the teachers, is not just a one day affair.  It involves months and months of sweat-filled supervision of the students.  For most schools, Sports Day is only held once every two years.  Yet, Chung Hua Middle School has their Sports Day every year without fail, and they are willing to go through all that hardship, time and time again, and still manage to allocate some of their already-packed time to ensure that Sports Day comes true every single year for the students.

For the students, they look forward to Sports Day every year, as they want to win.  For some students, it might seem like getting a gold is only but a dream, but they try their best anyway because they know that in the end, they will regardless of the outcome, they have embraced the winning spirit.

Yellow House’s Nyiau Wen Jun does some stretching before going into the battlefield.

Come the big day, everyone’s excited, especially the students.  Which house will emerge the overall winner of the year?  Which student will be awarded the Best Athlete award?

Lucky Shoes
Every participant would have their own ritual before the race. Blue House’s Wendy Chua puts on her lucky shoes.
All smiles
The Green House girls posing for the camera with full confidence… and style!
Show of discipline
The disciplined Green House emerged the winner of the March-Pass.
Let the games begin!
Chairman of the school’s Board unveils the Sports’ Day Logo for the year while the management cheers on.  In the background are the four Sport Houses of the school; the lovely Blue House, the peaceful Green House, the trustworthy Yellow House and the loyal Red House.
Taking the oath
Green House’s Soon Yen Ching represents the entire participants in taking the oath, pledging to play fair and obey all the rules of the sport. Behind her stands the official Sports’ Day flag of the school which is only raised once a year.

And as the runners take their place at the starting line, so does all the teachers take their place at their allocated duties.  Everyone, indifferent,  working together in one perfect harmony.

Digital Scores
Results of all the events are entered into the system and calculated automatically so that participants can know their placings in real-time.
Time watchers
Teachers standing ready with their stop-watches, each one taking the track time of each individual runner in the event.
And the race begins
Runners taking their time, sticking to their own houses, conserving their energy for that very last lapse in the 800 meters event where they will then sprint for the finish line.
The unique event in the Sports’ Day where we don’t normally see is the 80 meters skipping event, which is only opened for the Primary School students. Blue House’s Chong Ching Wen skips her way to the finish line, making sure her legs does not get tangled up in the rope!
Making sure there's no lumps
Student helpers preparing the long jump pit, making sure the sands are evenly distributed, with no lumps and holes to prevent unwanted injuries during the competition.
First Flight
The ‘first flight’ of Red House’s Chua Zheng Hong taking the leap and flying high in the Long Jump event.
Defending Champion
Defending Champion Red House’s John Jose throwing with all his might to defend his title of Champion from last year.
I will be strong!
Green House’s Christopher Sim giving out his battle cry, throwing the discus.
Ready, Aim, THROW.
Ready, Aim, THROW as Blue House’s Goh Yea Wen taxi the lane to throw the javelin into the air.
Not as easy as it looks
Green House’s Jason Lam makes throwing the shot put seems so easy when preparing for the throw itself is hard enough; feet positioned properly, while shoulders wide apart, making sure to leave a slight bend in the knees.
Dive Dive Dive
Red House’s Woo Pak Chung dives into the sea of sand while the spectators looks on.

Everyone has their sunblock ready and their caps ready.  This would probably be the one and only day that everyone would wish for the sun and not the rain.  The sun brings out the shine in everyone, the bright smiles, the joyous laughter and the glorious win.

Taking shelter
Blue House girls taking shelter under a farmer’s over-sized farmer’s hat, which is actually mine. I’ve found the farmer’s hat to be most useful for out-in-the-blazing-sun events compared to any other hats or caps which shelters the head but not the body, unlike the farmer’s hat, which can be seen in the picture sheltering three people!
Wear and tear
A farmer’s hat finally gave in after years of service to its owner.
Unique style
Every participant would have their own unique style which they feel would give them the advantage over the others, even if the style does not conform to the ‘Standard Operating Procedures’.
Everybody look to their left...
As Jessie J says, Everybody look to their left…..
Everybody look to their right
….. Everybody look to their right.

Maybe will stumble and fall half way through the run.  Some might even suffer injuries in the process.  But they push themselves, reminding themselves that they have gone through so much just to reach this day, and it would be a waste to give up now.  So they pick themselves up, shrug their pain aside, brush the sand off their shoulders, can push on.

First Aid
Chairman of the School Board, Mr. Lau Shiew Yien gives a new definition of ‘first aid’ as he was the first to rush in to aid Green House’s Kylie Chiam when she fell to ground before any other first aider was there.
Down and out
Red House’s Max Wong took a nasty fall in the high jump event, hurting his back bone when he landed with the pole still under him. The paramedics was rushed in to rush him to the hospital. Miraculously, the next day he was back in school, up and about, just like any other normal day in school… with the difference of being hailed as the hero of the day.
Finished at the finish line.
Every athlete who gives out all their best will most probably ‘meet’ the ground at the end the race when their legs has given out all it can…..
Finishing Line
….. but even with the awareness impending ‘blackouts’ at the end of the finish line, everyone still gives out all their best anyway, for this last few seconds of the race; the touch of the body against the finish line then the roar of the crowds crowning you the champion even before the official results are out.
Pleasant encounters
Sports’ Day also provides very pleasant encounters as students are brought down memory lane at times when they have the chance to meet up with old friends from other schools as they come participate for the invitational relay event; as they had one such opportunity this year in meeting ex-Red House’s Liew Shi Wen.

Just like a storm, all the months of preparation comes down to flash of a day, which will portray the fruit of their labor.  The winning spirit is not just about the trophies or the medals that a person wins.

The glory
The victorious feeling when you step on prize giving podium, holding up your medal in glory.

A running winner gets a trophy much bigger and glamorous than that of the second place, yet that does not mean the winner is ten times better than the second place winner.  Nor does it mean that the winner had ten times better running shoes than the second place winner.

Huge differences in results cannot come from techniques or equipment only.  The most important factor is the mental attitude.  The winner had maybe the ability to do one or two changes in his thoughts during the last few seconds.  The winners are the ones who are willing to give it their best, not only in the competition day itself, but all the way from the beginning where everything began, the practices.  All the time spent training and training.

That is the real winning spirit.

Systems of Values
Behind every great sportsman is a system of values; hard work, self-improvement, service to his house, etc which in the end, can be summarized as the title of this post, The Winning Spirit.

8 thoughts on “The Winning Spirit

  1. So many facial expressions~ well, im happy to see chms still being so victorious! 😀 proud of chms! 😀 proud to be an ex chms ^^

  2. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous web site.

    1. Thanks Aline. Most of my readers are students, so I have to make sure that they realize the full extend of what they actually go through year and year again. There are also some parents who reads my posts, so I also want them to understand and realize what their children go through each year, all those time spending sending their kids for sports training, even though it has nothing whatsoever to do with their academics. Just wanna remind everyone there’s more to life than exams and good results. More to life than winning gold.

  3. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

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