The event that need to be taught are throws like shot
put, javelin and discuss, the jumps; long jump, high
jump and triple jump; the sprints; 100m, 200m, 110m
hurdles and 400m. The middle and long distances are
800m, 1,500m and cross country of 3.5 miles. We were
not taught pole vault as we do not have the equipment
or the technical know how to do it. I recall Mr. Rajasingam,
a certified athletic coach was our PE master and he
took the trouble to teach us the technics of each of
the above event. The school sets benchmarks for each
of the above events with two benchmarks; basic and senior.
For example; say 100m Under 13, the 100m basic timing
is 15.0 seconds and the senior timing is 14.5 seconds.
If an Under 13 student clocks within the basic timing,
he scores one point for his house and if he clocks a
senior timing, he scores two points for each event.
The two other categories are Under 16 and Under 20 for
the older students. We call this series of athletic
events, Standard Sports and it is compulsory for all
students to take part, save for those sick with medical
certificates. The discipline was so stringent that very
few dare to miss the events for the fear of stern punishment.
In this way we had the opportunity to participate in
all the events. I did not score points in any of the
sprint events during my years in school but was able
to get points in the middle and longer distance events,
the jumps and the throws. Cross country was my favorite
event that I got close to getting a top 10 placing as
I had great stamina as a school basketball player.
There are several plus points about this system and
- Every student gets to take part in the whole series
of the event and therefore learn the basics of each
event. With such a large pool of students exposed
to athletics, we could easily select the better ones
for the school team. (I never made it to school team
- The Champion House from the school sports day is
determined by the strong participation of the masses
as against the performance of elite athletic students
alone. This help to cultivate a strong sense of belonging
to our houses and the sports day is such a great joy
- It inculcates an interest in athletics at a young
age; 13 years old in my case. Prior to joining Victoria
Institution, my only other athletics experience is
running one round the Prison Field at Jalan Hang Tuah
during sports day at my primary school.
I hope the kidsí athletics program will be sustained
and introduced to every school. The school ought to
teach 3 basics sports; athletics, swimming and gymnastics.
These three basics sports are good foundation to any
other sports that the children may take on in their
later years. I understand that the Russian schools emphasize
on these three disciplines as the basics in sports development.
Letís hope this program can sustain and help to build
up the school childrenís interest in athletics.