1 November 2018
Dear Parents and Students,
Pooi To always attaches a great importance to whole-person development. We create opportunities for students’ moral, academic, physical, social, aesthetic and spiritual development. With our annual sports day taking place last week, I want to talk about the benefits of physical development. At Pooi To, our emphasis on physical fitness is not only about the conditioning of the body, but also a way to develop students’ positive attitude towards life.
Sports training is systematic, discipline-oriented, team-based, and can often be a grueling experience with countless sweat, frustration and loneliness. Even so, when students have experienced systematic team training in sports, not only can their skills can be improved, but more importantly they can work on their perseverance, determination and character. Furthermore, a good team spirit can enhance core values, goals, morale and discipline. They must learn from each other, closely cooperate, be friendly and appreciate each other, so that they can keep improving for the team and for themselves. As a team they need to develop a mutual trust and respect, so that they can appreciate and value each individual.
Last year, Pooi To was defeated in the Inter-school Swimming Competition (Division 2), so this year our swimming team competed in Division 3. Our swimmers did not give up. Instead, they learned from their mistakes and tried harder to train during the summer holidays. In the competition, I witnessed our swimmers’ persistence in the medley relay event (4 different strokes), and eventually they became champions in the Overall Girls category. Bravo! They made it. I am proud of them for their confidence and perseverance in facing challenges, and I’m sure this experience will benefit their lives.
At the athletic meet this year, many new records were created. Among them were: Yoyo Ng of S6 who ran 800 metres in 2:37.46 and achieved 1.5 metres in the high jump. In addition, Erica Wong of S2 jumped 4.68 metres in the long jump, and Megan Mak of S1 hit the softball 38.41 metres. I appreciate their effort and the support from their family, teachers, coaches and schoolmates.
The highlight of the athletic meet is the Inter-house Cheerleading Competition. Unfortunately, due to some technical issues regarding the stadium’s sound system, participants from S1 (Everest House) and S5 (Honour House) experienced some interruption to their performances. However, the prompt response from participants impressed me. Despite the lack of music, they continued their well-drilled dance, and the confident smiles that they displayed highlighted their team spirit, cooperation and preparedness. I’m sure this experience will strengthen the spirit and togetherness of their team.
Continuing on the theme of positive attitudes, I would like to share the experience of a previous student of mine, who was a 100m record-breaker as a teenager and is now a full-time athlete. Her daily training was extremely tough and she often had wounded legs. She hadn’t broken her previous best record for many years. Many people did not understand why she continued to put herself through such a rigorous daily training schedule. Until one day, while in a competition, she broke her personal best record by 0.14 seconds. She could not stop crying. Her tears were evidence of the long journey taken for her to reach this achievement. People like to use their wealth, fame and victory to measure their achievements. But for me, achievement is when you break through your limitations to turn the impossible into possible. Taking on this spirit of perseverance and maintaining a positive attitude towards life will go a long way to helping you to excel, achieve your goals and break down barriers.