Softball Overseas Programme, Taiwan
From 10th to 16th November 2013, 27 members from the Softball team, teachers-in-charge Ms Ariel Goh and Mrs Christie Koh, as well as 2 coaches, Ms Checkwa Sheirylou Valenzuela and Ms Suzanne Tan went for an overseas trip to Taiwan where the girls experienced a different culture and also got the opportunity to train and play friendly matches with teams from Taiwan.
The girls spent 4 days at Puli High School (埔理國中) which included 2 days of immersion where they attended lessons with their fellow Taiwanese peers. The students were generally very welcoming and heartwarming which allowed our girls to be themselves as they engaged with their new friends. After lessons, the girls attended training with the Puli High School Softball team where they were exposed to new form of practices and training methods and got to hone their skills. Despite the Puli players’ high proficiency in the sport, they were very willing to guide our girls as seen from their enthusiasm and attentiveness. Attending training with Puli High School allowed the girls to benefit tremendously as there were many aspects in which they could learn from, not just in terms of skills but in attitude, discipline and passion for the game which were simply commendable. The girls seized this golden opportunity to learn and absorb as much as possible from the Puli players, who although were of same age as them, were much more knowledgable and experienced when it came to Softball.
Over the 4 days spent in Puli High School, the girls made many friends and broadened their knowledge in various aspects. It was a sad sight when the team had to leave for Taipei on the 5th day where they had a friendly match with Taipei Municipal Shilin High School of Commerce (臺北市立士林高級商業職業學校校舍) the following day. Applying what they have learnt over the past 4 days, the girls put in their best and had much to gain.
Other than training sessions and friendly matches, the team also visited scenic places like Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村), Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) and Ximending (西門町) where the girls snapped many pictures with their teammates, overcame their fears by taking on rides like the UFO Gyro Drop and savoured authentic Taiwan cuisine.
All in all, despite the trip being filled with ups and downs, it was definitely enriching and an eye-opener for all as they pushed themselves past their limits not just physically but mentally too. It has not only made the girls better Softball players but players with greater determination and drive. The trip has definitely impacted each and every member in one way or another as they brought back all that they have learnt back to Singapore to share with their other teammates. The bond between the team has without a doubt become stronger and may the team progress even more to achieve greater heights in the coming season!
The two days of lessons in Puli Junior High allowed me to appreciate what I have in Singapore as well as realise how lucky I am to be able to learn both languages at a high proficiency level. I did not realise how much of an advantage being bilingual Singaporeans have compared to the other citizens and this made me more appreciative of the opportunities Dunman high has presented to us in the past four years. Though students in Taiwan are taught Basic English, they are still unable to converse properly in English. However, attending the few lessons of Chinese in their classes, I found myself comparing the different standard of Chinese between Singapore and Taiwan and I am deeply ashamed of how I call myself a higher Chinese student yet do not understand half of what is going on during the Chinese lessons.
13Y4G Ng Li Ling
The softball trip to Taiwan was, in retrospect, a significant milestone in my journey as a softball player. It provided me with the opportunity to expose myself to the world beyond Singapore, imparting with me knowledge in areas vital to my growth as a person and as a student playing softball. Having played or watched five games in total – four in Puli and one in Shilin – I now better understand the different standards and level of play in both Singapore and Taiwan. As we competed against the various schools, I noticed one common thing about them – all players were of exceptional skill. There was not one person who was lacking and falling behind, as every single player was conditioned and prepared for the matches.
13Y2H Vanessa Thian