Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sukantara...

For some reason, the English equivalent of the term slips my mind and seems no where near grasp. It's Sukantara season now. For the uninitiated, Sukantara is made up of compulsory field and track events for all students to participate. Time or distance is set and if a student clears those set goals, they score a point for their Sports Houses.


Sports Day used to be held early part of the year, end of February or early March; which is too early for my liking. I think April or end of March would be ideal as it would give enough time for students to trains and not disrupt the getting-into-the-exam-mood phase after mid-year exams.

This year, Sports Day has been pushed to June! This after some study tour by the officers from our Edu Department to Australia; so I heard. They have their reasons for pushing the sports to June - more time to practise, sports to be a 'whole year' affair, etc, etc... But somehow, due to various reasons, sports has gotten a worse deal. Instead of being super prepared given the longer period, the students (and staff) seem even more ill-prepared. You'd think that after 5 months of training, most students will be able to clear their Sukantara marks. To my dismay, many of the older girls can't seem to even throw far enough to secure 1 point for their respective sports houses where shot putt is concerned.

One could squirm at the sight of the girls doing their shot putt. Instead of thrusting and punching it upward and forward, almost all attempted to throw the 'metal ball'! Suffice to say, a few sprained something here and there! The younger girls were doing better. It seems like the older the girls got, the slower, weaker and 'siu-chia' they got. Of course it doesn't help to have some teachers keep harping on them about boys watching, etc, etc. Does no good some of these girls who are already very conscious about their physical changes that they are going through.

Next week we're going to have our Sports; and many other schools too. Is it going to be a better sports? I doubt it. Does it produce better athletes? I don't know. Sports practices have been languishing since the beginning of the year. It lost steam some time in February when the weight of the paper work got to us... Headcount, Observations (class and work), etc, etc... Most of us got bogged down and while we didn't totally sink into the quicksand, neither did we get out. So we wallowed in it, getting tired and disheartened and in the mean time, changes in the admin brought about worse discipline and whatever energy left free got entangled in class, trying to keep the class disciplined....

Changes, wrong people or people without the proper work ethics... more chaos, energy sapped, morale left with a hole...

And the Sukantara?? I think many of the students are not bothered about whether they get points for their sports houses. We talk about instilling patriotism, loyalty.... these are the early lessons for them. And in our chase for better academic results we forget these practical aspects of education. Sports does help in the creation of a holistic person. The determination, discipline, persistence, pain.... all those help in toughening us! And sad to say, there're more kids 'lembik' than not these days. As for our sports, I can't help but feel that perhaps it's better off held early in the year. After all our obsession is not with athletic prowess but academic one.

2 comments:

PreciousPearl said...

trouble is that sport is not for everyone so no matter how hard the school or edu dept pushes only those who are really interested will get anything out of it

AJ7 said...

Agreed.. but these days less kids are for sports; of the physical kind. But I think if you consider computer games as sports, there'd be keen participation, fierce competition and fuller attendance on gaming day! 8)

But all of us know that sports is important, perhaps even necessary at this age, with obesity a problem with more kids these days!