Sha Tin College’s annual Swimming Gala was held on September 15 at the Ma On Shan Swimming Pool with the go-ahead from the PE department only the evening before, despite a scare from the super typhoon Meranti. The gala was the first major event of the school year that brought all four houses together, pitting them against each other in a morning of friendly yet intense competition.
Students from all houses cheered passionately for their swimmers. Phoenix’s drumming band, led by Mr. Nicholson, fuelled the fire for their house’s rally. All four houses coordinated within themselves a cheer-leading choreography, performed throughout the gala to the never-ending cheers and screams from the stands.
This enthusiasm was obvious to new members of the school. “Everyone was so spirited at the gala,” commented Letizia Wan, a new student to 12D2. “I feel right at home with my Dragon family, and I absolutely cannot wait for all the house activities to come.”
Dragon also had a reason to celebrate; their Year 10 Girls’ 4×50 freestyle team (Isabel Stowe, Vinci Cheung, Karen Chan, and Vanessa Ng of 10D1) had swum a record-breaking 2 minutes and 15 seconds for the event, succeeding the previous record set by Hillary house in ’06 by a full 4 seconds.
“I never thought we would even get first place, let alone beat the record,” recounted Vanessa. “I’m very proud of us and also everyone who was competing against us. It’s definitely something that I will remember as part of my Sha Tin College experience.”
Staff members also shared their thoughts about the gala. “I think this is amazing,” said Ms. Swain, a new teacher of the Music department. “I’m really loving seeing all the houses and all the ages work together, take care of each other, and support each other.”
Mr. Melville, new to the English department added, “The chaos and general din were well worth it. It’s fantastic!”
From the enthusiastic Year 7s who have only recently joined Sha Tin College to the alumni of the Senior School, the entire student body was completely engrossed in the day’s activities.
It has been a long standing tradition for the Year 13s to celebrate their final Gala by all lining up at the edge of the pool and jumping in together. “You know, the Swimming Gala is a really big event for Sha Tin College,” commented Jeremy Liu of 13G1. “One of the biggest part of it is the Year 13 final jump. I’m quite excited to be a part of it, as I’ve watched every year for the past 6 years do it.”
The event concluded with Phoenix sweeping almost all the awards, winning the Boys’, Girls’, and Overall Cup. Griffin maintained their strong enthusiasm throughout the day, leaving with the Spirit Cup in tow.
“One of the best moments of my entire Sha Tin College experience was lifting that Swimming Gala Trophy! On behalf of the entire Phoenix student leader team, we would like to thank every single Phoenix member for their passion and spirit in this year’s swimming gala,” commented Michael Hwong, Head of Phoenix House. “Whether you were swimming in the finals, or cheering in the stands, thank you all for making our last swimming gala so unforgettable.”
“Even though it wasn’t a swimming gala victory for us, winning the spirit cup for this event is something worthy of celebration for everyone in Griffin,” said Michael Law, Griffin’s Head of House. “Nevertheless, a big congratulations to all four houses for showing overwhelming support and house spirit throughout!”
All four houses presented the best of their efforts, and whether it be the stunning feats of athletic ability in the pool, or the boisterous battle cries of support resonating from the stands, it is undeniable that Sha Tin has an unstoppable spirit that just will not yield – not even to a typhoon!
Andrian Chan, 12D1
Matthew Ng, 11G2
Nikita Jadhav, 12X2