International College Hong Kong
Jan 05, 2023

Sport is a great metaphor for life which is why, we believe, it's an invaluable tool for education

It was a tremendous tournament.  A full day of action played in a friendly atmosphere, which could not have been better in terms of the weather.

Across the age groups, we had all the elements for what it means to participate in competitive sport; the trepidation of the unknown, waiting to find out how your team will fare compared to the opposition;  that feeling of hope, both for the referee to end the game whilst we were still ahead and just a little more time to come back and score; the triumph of victory, the despair at defeat;

Eventually, the final whistle blew and it was all over.

In the final analysis, the numbers seem quite clear.  10 Schools from across Hong Kong with 34 teams in 6 categories (U20, U16, U14 for boys and girls). They include some of the biggest and most prestigious schools in HK:  Canadian Int'l, Chinese Int'l, Harrow, South Island, KGV, American Int'l and it was great to see our local rivals, Malvern, take part too. QESOSA Tong Kwok Wah (伊利沙伯中學舊生會湯國華中學) represented the best of the local school community at this event.  

Medals were awarded to first, second and third of each category, just one Grand Champion trophy awarded to the school which was the overall winner.

However, before I report back on these results it is important to remind everyone that there is so much more to take from taking part in competitive events such as these:  lessons in sportsmanship and humility, acceptance, discovering our own limits and the character of those around us.  

In short, it is all about learning:  Learning about ourselves and how we can improve as individuals.  Learning about each other and how we can improve as a team.

I will often tell players that sport is about more than winning and losing and I would like to draw out some important lessons for us as a school,from this event.  

Participation is key. 

Sometimes having the courage to take that first step into doing something new can be very daunting.  We had many players who had played their first ever game of touch in the Dynasty Tournament in October, just a couple of months ago.  Many were nervous about not knowing the sport and not wanting to look stupid or out of place.  We had quite a few students who did not want to play for the fear of losing.  

Fortunately, in the end we had quite a few students who did play.  We also had a number of players who were playing in a different age category just to make up a team.  For instance, year 9 girls who should really have been playing in the C grade Girls were instead playing in the B Grade category, which is a different proposition altogether.

Losing is part of the process.  

There will be times when we lose, we simply need to admire the opposition and learn what it is that they are doing better than us.  Many of the players in the U20 teams have been playing in the HK Touch League, an open age competition played by adults. Over the last 3 years, that has been one of the few available options for any sport whilst school sport had died a death.  We have lost more of our games and there have been some very heavy defeats. 

On many occasions, I have seen players disheartened and dispirited whilst I try to remind them that we are there to learn and that they will be better for the experience.  And so it is somewhat satisfying that when these players were finally able to play against players in their own age group, we see that they are in fact one of the stronger teams as both the U20 boys and girls competed in the final against Chinese Int'l. 

On the day, I was coaching the B grade girls who lost all their games. My message to them is the same:  If you can practise and keep on playing, you will improve and help to contribute to the overall success of sport at ICHK.

Life is not always fair.

Sport is a great metaphor for life which is why, we believe, it's an invaluable tool for education. At times we may be at a disadvantage when another team has players that are bigger and faster than us.  Maybe the opposition scored when in fact it should have been called as a touch.  Perhaps we should have scored but instead the referee made a bad call.  Disappointing as this, we must accept the circumstances, pick ourselves up and try again.  It's not easy, but that is life!

So with these lessons in mind, I am pleased to report the following:

Boys


A Grade

B Grade

C Grade

Winners (7)

Chinese Int'l

South Island School

Int'l College HK

Second (5)

Int'l College HK

Harrow

YMCA

Third Place (3)

Harrow

KGV

South Island School

Fourth (1)

Tong Kwok Wah

Tong Kwok Wah

Malvern College





Girls


A Grade

B Grade

C Grade

Winners (7)

Chinese Int'l

Tong Kwok Wah

South Island School

Second (5)

Int'l College HK

YMCA

Canadian Int'l

Third Place (3)

American Int'l

Harrow

Tong Kwok Wah

Fourth (1)

Harrow

KGV

Int'l College HK

Thus, for the third time in the school's history, ICHK were crowned Grand Champions, 10 years after the last time.  I was pleased to ask the captain of the C grade Girls Team, Kenza El Mansour, to collect the trophy on behalf of all the players.  Despite not being able to win a medal, the C Grade Girls took 4th place and that was the one point that we needed to make the difference to take the Grand Champions title from South Island.  A great reminder that every contribution, no  matter how small, counts!

Finally, thanks and gratitude to the Hong Kong Touch Association for providing the referees, one of whom happened to be alumnus Kenny Ng; to Canadian International for working together with us to host these championships; and to our own student volunteers who acted as pitch marshalls.  This was an invaluable service for our community.



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