House Cross Country 2018

As we all know, the Inter-House Cross Country took place last week. Before the day of the race, the enthusiasm only seemed present on the faces of our House Captains and Prefects. Words like “agony” and “pain” were even used to describe it… So it seemed like no one was going to run the entire race. But of course, things you expect never happen – and in this case, this was a brilliant thing!

At lunch-time on Wednesday, the Dining Hall was still packed with people, but the supply of food seemed to be very sufficient. Strange, as normally the most popular food options may have run out fairly quickly. But why? The answer was clear when you saw trays with the ‘smaller’ portions of food on every table. People were having less for lunch, because of the cross country that followed. And the Dining Hall was emptying out very quickly as the time ticked by, approaching the second hour of the afternoon.

Behind Main Hall, crowds of Lower School students were waiting for the commencement of the race. You could see a clear division between the colours of the four different ‘Houses’. In circles, they all cheered, motivated one another and did warm-ups. The atmosphere was extremely friendly, but all of us knew the first inter-house competition of the year was about to start…

The crowds and atmosphere kept building up and more and more people kept joining the different Houses. That was until the crowd’s chatter came to a halt when a safety briefing was given. Runners claimed their designated starting positions on the edge of the lawn, waited for the signal, everyone now ecstatic about the race. After a couple of failed attempts of the starting gun, “BANG!”, we were off.

Spots of yellow, green, blue and red sprinted across the field, upwards towards the fence. Everyone was running. Of course, some overtook and flew by, but you could tell all of us were trying our best for our team. The course for Lower School is shorter than the Upper School route, however, still challenging – especially at the twists and turns of the off-road section about half way. The surfaces were rough, uneven and bumpy too. There were a couple of slips and falls, but we all managed to stand up, regain composure and kept on running. At the finish line, a massive crowd of cheers and encouragement awaited every student. The ‘taste of the fruit of success’ when we all crossed the line, I can’t put into words. But what we did feel was adrenaline running through our veins.

What next? Handing in the finishing tickets to your House’s desk, getting your name on the scoreboard. You’d turn around and people were cheering for the remaining runners, whilst others handed out water to the finishers. People had their hands in the air as they crossed the line in celebration! You started to understand the meaning of the phrase, “Focus on process, not outcome”.

Of course, at last, Gandhi House lifted the trophy high, winning the Inter-House Cross Country for an impressive and consecutive third time. But I think everyone is going to agree with me in saying we all enjoyed it immensely.

Kenneth – F4

House Volleyball

The school had only been open for a week and we had four ‘house competitions’ already. We didn’t really have much time to practice…

I was one of the Pankhurst members who played both basketball and volleyball. After the basketball match, we had about 4 days to practice for our volleyball competition, but I believe the houses didn’t practice as much as perhaps needed because volleyball club is held only on Sunday night. But that didn’t really matter because participation is the key, right?

Anyway, the tournament was really (really really) FUN. All four houses were so competitive. Gandhi House produced some ‘free play styles’ that were so unpredictable but actually worked (…sometimes). Mandela has got some tall players which gave other houses a hard time to block or smash the ball against them. Teresa has got capable players and, of course, that power serve from Gavin Chen, and Pankhurst has got some skillful volleyball players too. Each house showed good teamwork and so, this enhanced the level of enjoyment. Fun moments occurred whenever we tried out new tactics, new movements and played in different positions. Most people involved in this competition, whether they are F3, F4, or F5, boys or girls, they don’t usually play volleyball. However, everyone tried hard and did their best for the team and it was very impressive to see most of them improved their digging, setting, smashing, and serving skills throughout the game.

To be honest, no one was really ‘carrying’ the team or did their jobs perfectly. We all made mistakes on the day and personally, I didn’t serve the ball as well as I should which was one of the reasons why Pankhurst lost to Teresa. But, nevertheless, it was the teamwork that improved the skills of everyone and eventually led to the enjoyment of the games.

The final result was Pankhurst and Teresa being joint winners of the competition. However, this is just another year of house volleyball so I’d like to encourage everyone, especially F3 and F4, to take part in this sport and also the other remaining house events this year and next year. Who knows? Maybe next year the victory will be yours.

Tee Saran Punpipatpaiboon – F5