Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mighty Ducks & Debating Teams: Training Sessions

Time does fly so quickly.

As the winners of 2007's PPM were announced at PICC, the training for koleq's 2008 debating teams begins. I would not want to go into the details, but this is the first time that I actually coach a group of debaters from scratch. From zero. From the very basic of testing the loudness of their voices.

How did it feel? Uncertain. There were times I felt I was dragging my feet as I don't think I am up for another 4-year journey waiting for the team to mature; yet you cannot abandon the kids. I just don't have the heart, especially when I have been with some of them since their very first few days in koleq - just as I am now with the F1s in the team.

Because we are looking after 2 teams now, we make a point to conduct the training session for the debating and hockey teams simultaneously. So while I was training the debaters, KNO was with the hockey boys. Canoe did come for a while but drove back half an hour after that to KL.

The training session was so important for the Junior Duckies as this is the first time we assemble a junior team (F1 and F2) this year. We did not have any hockey players or a formal team before - so when we first met the boys on Saturday, KNO and I were quite impressed with Am and the F4s (anak-anak itik sulung) for being able to put together 2 teams in such a short time. Even when the HM turun padang the next day, he was surprised to see there were about 50+ hockey players from the F1s to F4s.

What he didn't know was the ordeal the F4s and us had to go through to convince the juniors to play hockey.

For a start, none of the F1s ever played hockey. Only one in F2s had played before. So the first kink that we didn't expect - they didn't have sticks and balls to begin with (I mean hockey sticks and balls!). Sticks cost quite considerably, and to start playing with a low quality stick would not have been prudent; as these sticks might be damaged or broken very earlier on. So they have to get quite a decent stick for a starter.

But a decent stick costs a bit, especially when you have to buy them within a space of one week before the training session was launched.

So while some did not mind forking out the money, others would find it difficult to ask the sum from the parents; and understandably at that.

What did we have to do?

We had to start a hire purchase scheme for the kids to buy hockey sticks - but this hire purchase is without any agreement, just the trust that they will repay us back on monthly basis until the HP is settled.

And that's how we ended with a lot of hockey players last weekend.

We were joined by Angsa Putih (the technical advisor Thorsten) and Itik Lawak (Badut) and Mak Itik Lawak (Red). An hour before the training on Sunday was due to begin, Badut called to tell me his car could not start and tersadai in front of Yut Loy!

Half an hour later, four accountants (myself, KNO, Badut and Red) were still trying to figure out how to jump start Badut's car, while Thorsten (after knowing that I have an electrical and electronics engineering degree!) further reiterated his opinion that our education system was too exam centric and I was the living evidence.

Luckily after so many consultations (which included Bobo's googling on how to jump start a car) and 45 minutes later - we managed to start the car without blowing up my own!

So everything went well.

The boys looked very eager and the F5s (Bachok, Sudin, Red, Apal and Pecal) joined the team to coach the F1s.

We still have some issues with the F3s as we had to literally threaten and milk them to come down to the field, but the rest was OK. The next few trips to KK will have to be spent finding out and resolving the F3s issues, but apart from that all is set.

We also had the bonus of having the HM to witness how serious and disciplined the boys were. He was keen and was happy to see that we stick to our promise that we would bring Thorsten back from time to time.

But the single greatest pride that I had - was seeing the F4s coming together as a team. The punctuality, the single-mindedness, the sense of responsibility that on their shoulders is the future of MCKK hockey games - was our pride.

Training camp in a jungle always work. Always always work. What is daunting is organising a team building for 50+ kids at the end of the year in a jungle somewhere - and Wong is already excited at the prospect of torturing them.

But that's another story.

We shall see how much the training has had an impact on them (the debaters and Junior Duckies) in 3 weeks' time.

KNO's videos and photos here, also a guide on how to jump start a car here!


  1. Junior Coach English12:39 AM

    if in 3 days no improvement,then an extra 18 days should have an impact right?i mean,3 days n 3 weeks jauh kan beza?sigh

    "I Will Not Complain~"

  2. Anonymous11:15 AM

    Well, if only we have more old boys like you guys who are as involved and passionate with the current batch of budak koleq.

    Good work guys.

    HP scheme for hockey stick ? Brilliant :)

    ex Hoki ex Warta

  3. Ha h JCE (Junior Coach English),

    Well give them time, if we can change the seniors there are always the juniors. All of us have given up winning PPM, it will not happen so let's live with it - but I have not given up seeing more people like you and Bucks in their midst, if you can make sure all of them come back as top notch lawyers, cardiologists, CFOs - that's more rewarding; but it takes more patience than what we can normally put up with.

    Yes - "I Will Not Complain" ye dak, that is the essence of Malay College upbringing, we don't whine, we find solutions and work towards it.

    And ex-Warta ex-Hockey,

    I think we are making up for our complete failure to leave an imprint kat koleq dulu ha ha, being practically one of the most under achieving batches in koleq's history ha ha ha.

    On a serious note, it's the turnover of the new batch of old boys with the same mission and understanding of what needs to be done; that worries us more. We can do this up to a point, but if we cannot make sure there'll be more coming in the pipeline, all will be in vain and we cannot sustain.

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  5. accountants! hahahaha...

    anyway.. dalam manual kereta selalu ada description on how to jump start a car..

  6. ko gelak eh joe. ko x tau masa tu kitaorang call sorang engineer kat kerteh, sekali dia ckp nanti dia google dulu. huahuahua. lagi tension!

  7. lain kali baca la manual ye hahaha

  8. Even i know how to do it!

  9. Dari korang call 'engineer' kat kerteh tu, baik la ko call wife dia lg elok hahaha

    (Teringat cerite "hantar aku balik ke rumah mak aku sekarang jugak" ... :-P)