Monday, 20 May 2013

'Special' Kind of Sports Day - 11 May 2013

Persatuan Kanak-kanak Istimewa (PKIK), a learning centre for persons with learning disabilities had their Sports Day in Kajang Utama recently. There were about 90 students/trainees who came along with their families.

 The kids were very at ease and would pose for a picture any time.

A family affair for us to volunteer at the Sports Day. Daddy was the cameraman, assisting him was Jin. I helped at the finishing line. Brandon was pretty excited at first, but the hot sun drained him fast. Wei & I took part in the family game. We didn't get a prize, much to his disappointment cos he thot he could beat the aunties but these 'aunties' were PRO!  

March past from the little ones to adult trainees.

Warm-up and stretch before the events.

Sports events for the little kids. The parents were enjoying themselves so much in these events. Because of their encouragement and support, these kids beat their physical disability to finish the races. And everyone's a winner! 

Students in the telematch with their family members. It didn't feel like they're competing against one another, rather they're competing against themselves to finish the games.

The most tricky event was the 200m relay race. It's a big achievement running with a baton and passing it from one teammate to the other around the track and across the finish line. They did it!!

Everyone got a prize!! Brandon asked me why there were so many winners on the podium?

Exemplary family: The whole family was at the sports day giving support and encouragement to Arifah. You could even feel the positive vibes around them. Arifah is one of the fortunate kids whose family helps her to reach her potential. 

Teachers: the pillars of support behind PKIK! 

Indeed a 'special' kind of sports day.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Orang Asli at Kg Simoi - 1 May 2013

Posting by: Xian Jin

I visited Kampung Simoi, Pahang with a group of friends. I was really excited to visit the orang asli village. Orang asli are the aboriginal people of Peninsular Malaysia. It was a long trip, approximately 3 hours. Half way along the trip, we had a break at a nearby restaurant. See the car... it was a makeshift way to sell things.

This is Kg Simoi. It's a really big place. We stopped at the biggest house in the village. This was my first time going to an orang asli village. Even though it was late morning, the air was cooling and fresh.

There were villagers everywhere and a lot of children. I could not stop taking pictures of the orang asli, though I was shy to talk to them at first.

A typical village house. I strolled around the village. As these people were living near town, they could get the things they need easily. They had cars and even TV!

The kids loved being photographed. You could see their faces smiling and giggling every time I took a picture. The villagers were friendly.  

If I had more time, I would have explored the thick forest nearby. I thought how lucky they were, being so close to nature, unlike city people like me who just sit around watching the telly or computer. We city people should spend more time outdoor.

They still cook their food using the firewood. The food was really tasty. Do you know, their vegetables are just tapioca leaves? I didn't know such simple food could taste so nice. Looks can be deceiving.

Their houses were very simple. They do not need air-conditioners or fans because of the cooling air of the forest. 

The children were curious. A few of our group members hung songsheets  between trees and they sang songs together.

All of us cramped into a house to listen to the children's singing. Even though they did not know the words and their meanings, they sang without reservation.

I was really happy to meet these people. I hope to return to this place to learn more about them.

Monday, 6 May 2013

More than gold or silver - 6 May 2013

Sometimes there's more at stake in any competition than just winning or losing. We've just concluded our nation's 13th general election and the stake is not like getting a decorative medal. The experience could be so 'energy-zapping' for many. Maybe, it's easier to just talk about how my boys saw winning or losing from their perspectives.

April was a busy month for inter-school sports and the annual school's sports day. This was the time that Xianwei looked forward to the most. He has won a lot of running events that we've a collection of his gold medals at home.  But this year was the start of a different journey for him. He's in the upper primary and have to compete with older, taller and stronger boys, not just from his school but with other schools as well. He's participating in more team events, ie relay races rather than individual races as well as volleyball games. It's a very good experience to open his eyes to see the real world with better, stronger players. Though he scored in his individual event, his team lost badly in the inter-school events, and missed the gold in the school's relay races. I was with him in most of these games, supporting the team. It's very tiring but I was glad to be there. 

Everyone deserved to be a winner. These boys were simple - they're just glad they could participate and finish all the games. And those were the life lessons, more than what they could gain within the classrooms:-
  • They felt bad when they're losing, but they would realise they're in the game cos they love it. They're not defined by the results. 
  • When the pride was hurt, they learnt to shake the hands of the other guys. That pride needs to be swallowed, and now. 
  • They're the underdogs in the inter-school games, but they learnt how to stick with it, that means, to keep trying, even when things were hard. 
  • When they blamed one another for making mistakes, they learnt that it's a team's mistake, not an individual mistake. When emotions got out of control, they saw how it could damage the team's spirit. 
  • They saw there're differences - schools that have sports facilities and full time coaches, and some who didn't have it all, but it's not always the determining factor of winning or losing. What brings results is the preparation, hard work, learning from failure and persistence.
  • They saw the dedication & encouragement from their teachers in coaching them, supporting and cheering them on.  
  • We heard tis many times before - there's always another game, live for the moment, the sun will shine again, there will be another opportunity to get out there, to score again. Sometimes we hate it, but it is the reason we get up every day. There's hope for everyone, every day, no matter what game you are playing. Life is not defined by gold or silver...

March past with colours and fun.

Worth to mention that this was Brandon's first sports day in school. He was down with high fever and vomiting 2 days before the sports day and he was so miserable thinking he would miss it. He didn't - and he got himself a gold in the 50m run. He came home beaming with pride, cos he could run in the race, he could join in the fun and cheered for his 'green house', certainly worth more than the gold or silver.

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