Filling in the Gap: Sports Exploration Programme 2020

by Chloe Kwek (4C 2019), Fun Wen Xin (4E 2019), Yong Sher Lin (4E 2019), Lin Jiawen (4K 2019)

There’s nothing less exciting than back-to-school season; it’s usually the start of a dreadful year-long sigh for most. But for our JC1s, it was nothing of that sort. In fact, many of them didn’t even have to attend flag-raising ceremony more than twice this week.

The reason? The Sports Exploration Programme, the first part of the JC1 Gap Exploration Month. The chance to spend an extra precious month with their Sec 4 classes wasn’t the only reason most JC1 students were looking forward to it.

It was also the fact that they would get to go out of school - because who wants to be trapped in this all-too-familiar compound for eight hours every weekday, especially when you don’t have lectures or tutorials to occupy your time?

With just one batch that had previously experienced the Gap Exploration Month before us, we stepped into the Auditorium on the first day of school with a sense of trepidation, not knowing what to expect. (I mean, the only thing that most of us had heard from our seniors was that we would get to go home early on most days…)

We knew that, like our JC2 seniors before us, we would get to try bowling, dragon boating, muay thai and rock climbing, but was that all?

We’d say that bowling puns are right up our alley, but right now we don’t have any to share...

Picking up some martial arts skills - you never know when they might come in handy...

Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised by the wide array of sports that the PE Department had planned for our Sports Exploration Programme this year. We didn’t just get the chance to participate in activities that our seniors did last year - we had a whole bunch of new activities waiting for us.

Inching closer to the bull's eye, one shot at a time

Boing boing boing! It’s definitely not every day you get to bounce on your own personal trampolines in school!

Row, row, row your kayak, gently down the reservoir

Merrily, merrily, merrily, just to collect trash, that’s all

Some classes got to try their hand at relative novelties like Archery, iBounce and Jive. A select few learned useful meditation and relaxation techniques through Yoga. Others soaked in warm golden rays of the morning sun as they kayaked across Marina Reservoir.

There were also the few lucky ones who got to ride the waves at faraway Changi Beach as they either windsurfed or sailed their way through the modules. Last but not least, everyone also got a taste of life on wheels through Inline Skating, held at our very own multi-purpose and basketball courts.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Wait, no, it’s a sailboat!

Spa time? Nah, time to take a break from windsurfing.

Channeling our inner yogis

And to the juniors (or seniors) who are wondering how all these activities went, don’t worry because Student Editorial Club is here to cover the JC1s’ experience!

Here’s what some of our friends have to say about the various activities they’ve gone through.


“Huh, we gonna dance ah? You sure we can or not? Ballroom dancing some more leh, later I go inside and make a fool of myself then how?” Muffled chatter could be heard outside the Dance Studio as we tried to comprehend the foreign concept of learning Jive, a dance style that originated in the United States in the early 1930s.

However, the initial fear and uncertainty soon dissipated as we frantically tried to keep up with lively music tracks of approximately 128-160 beats per minute while giggling breathlessly throughout our routine, taking steps left and right in a frenzy.

Wan Jun Jie Stanley of 4F 2019 agreed, mentioning how it was the first time most of us were learning how to jive. Despite the movements being difficult to understand and keep up with at first, he finally mastered them with the help of the instructor.

“It was a good experience as we were able to try something new - something which we would never have thought of trying ourselves,” he added.

As we awkwardly twirled each other in and out without the grace and confidence that any professional ballroom dancer would be sure to possess (oops), we realised just how difficult yet enjoyable Jive can be. Even though it was definitely not something that some of us were looking forward to at first, everyone sure had a good time!

Enjoyable / 5: 5

Difficulty / 5: 3

Exhaustion / 5: 5

Overall / 5: 4

Inline Skating

In Singapore's sweltering hot weather, getting decked out in protective gear for four hours doesn’t seem like much fun. But this was a rare opportunity to try a new sport, and after all, what could go wrong? Well, our shaky attempts to stand up in our skates proved us otherwise.

As Lim En Tian of 4E 2019 reflected on the difficulties she faced while skating, she acknowledged how important the support of her friends were.

“It was more difficult than I had imagined, but I am glad that my friends were there to encourage me. Despite having prior experience in skating, they still stayed by my side to patiently guide me.”

Nonetheless, with much slipping and falling, we all managed to stand up in our skates (some with the help of their friends) as well as skate at least somewhat proficiently by the end of the session. Although this may have been a painful day for some (from occasional falls), it was also one with much shared laughter.

Enjoyable / 5: 4

Difficulty / 5: 3

Exhaustion / 5: 3

Overall / 5: 3.5

Rock Climbing & Bouldering

While the rock-climbing walls at Kallang Wave Mall appeared intimidating to our bleary-eyed selves at the start of the day, by the end of our session at Climb Central Singapore, we were conquering route after route in no time. Many of us were no stranger to rock-climbing, but bouldering was definitely something new to us.

As some of us scrambled to win the bouldering minigame that our instructors had planned for us, others descended from the top of the rock-climbing walls after completing an exhausting, yet incredibly fulfilling climb.

“Though the climb felt like it would be a relatively easy task, the altitude intimidated me so much that I asked to go back down to the ground initially,” Lim Kai Qi of 4K 2019 mentioned, while sharing how she learnt the importance of perseverance through this experience.

“The most important part is to keep moving upwards.”

Though most of us were left with sore arms for days after that, we definitely wouldn’t mind the chance to be “monkeys” for a day again!

Enjoyable / 5: 4

Difficulty / 5: 3

Exhaustion / 5: 4

Overall / 5: 3.5

Dragon Boat

Under the garish light of the morning sun, we paddled diligently in a little 10-man white boat around Jurong Lake Gardens. We pulled through the arm workout, enjoying the satisfying splash of paddle against water. The real fun came when we were instructed to splash pond water at the other boats, because things are more fun when they're a tad bit competitive.

The result? Snorts of laughter, more splashing, and friendly rivalry. Chua Yao Xuan of 4H 2019 reflected on what she had learnt, bringing up the importance of every member in any group project.

“The effort that has to be put in by each person in the boat is huge but it will not show unless everyone does their part.

Each member’s effort, no matter how small, will add up and push the entire team forward.” she remarked.

Enjoyable / 5: 4.5

Difficulty / 5: 1

Exhaustion / 5: 3.5

Overall / 5: 4

As the fulfilling Gap Exploration Month draws to a close, we’ll soon be forced to reluctantly bid goodbye to the classes that we’ve been a part of for more than two years. We hope that our dear JC1s will cherish the fond memories they’ve created during this Good Extra Month (which was of course a GEM) and bravely embrace JC life with open arms, because every ending is a new beginning.

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