The Sporting Life at WYK II
By Tim Kwan (67)
I attended WYK from 1961 to 1969, P6 to F7. Compared to the 2 primary schools I was enrolled in, the school work was not too heavy, leaving time for extra curricula activities. Perhaps WYK administration had that in mind: to provide a balanced program of studies and activities.
For me, and many students, sport was an integral part of life in WYK, whether you played just for fun or in matches between classes, houses or against other schools.
Football (soccer), table tennis, track and field, tennis, swimming meets and basketball were the principal sports in those days, in that general order of popularity. I played football and tennis, as well as ran the 400m for WYK. My table tennis was good in primary school but I did not play much in WYK. Thinking back now, it must be because there were too many good table tennis players. I wanted to win, and was inevitably drawn to the games that I had a chance to be at the top, at least inside the school.
Competition is a dominant part of sports. Whenever scores are being kept, winners and losers are identified.
At WYK, the teachers did not overemphasize winning. Fair play and humility were valued. The Physical Training (PT) classes, Football classes and games before and after school exemplified this. A game was going to start, and you wanted to join and just play. Enjoy.
Competition became intense as you got to the more organized after-school games, then to interclass, onto inter-house and finally at the inter-school level. I won many medals inside the school and just two for WYK at intercollegiate.
The desire to win is natural. It is similar to the urge for humans to excel in what they do, whether it is the search for food, literature, scientific research, commerce or warfare.
To compete in sports is different in some aspects: it is simpler, with more clarity and arguably purer in nature. At WYK, I played hundreds of games, ran the tracks a few times, winning more often than losing.
But it was not until I was in Form 5 that I came to realise that while I enjoyed winning, I learned a lot more when I lost. The winning was great. But the losing went much deeper: dealing with failure, I learned many things. Courage and character could be built.
Recently I met up with Raymond Chan (73) for dinner. He went to WYK after I had left. He played football in Windsor, Ontario and was a top player amongst all the schools in the city. There is no question that he is a leader on the field.
During dinner, we inevitably turned to football. He said,” I have never gone to a match that I didn’t think I could win” in Chinese.
I plan to interview him soon.