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Learning Journey to Phuket, Thailand. 21 Oct 2018
On 21st October 2018, a group of 34 students from six sports CCA (Floorball, Football, Netball, Basketball, Wushu and Judo) and 5 teachers travelled to Phuket, Thailand for their Overseas Learning Journey. What made this trip different from others is that it provided them with opportunities to initiate, plan and execute meaningful sports related service learning. For majority of the students, it was their first time visiting Phuket and they were eager to learn more about the culture and the lifestyle of the Thai people.
Before the trip, the group had three sessions of planning and preparation for the activities and games. These sessions were rare opportunities for them to work with friends from other sports CCA. The group decided to organize a Sports Day for the Youth Football Home Foundation, one of the school that they visited.
On the first day of the trip, the group visited the Youth Football Home Foundation - a loving home where the local children receive their education while enjoying daily football coaching and training from fully qualified coaches. This was a great opportunity to get to know the children through playing games, interactions and activities that they have prepared. This visit was also
used to recce the area and ensured safety of the space available to host the Sports Day on the third day. In the evening, the group went to Phuket FantaSea, a wonderful complex of amusement park that covers cuisine, entertainment and shopping with the main theme of traditional Thailand. After enjoying the elaborated dinner, they attended a Thai cultural show known as Fantasy of a Kingdom. This spectacular show was a Las Vegas style Thai cultural show infused with cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art show elements.
The next day started off with a learning journey to HeadStart International School to immerse in the sports school experience. The school was amazing as it has first class sports facilities such as the huge gymnasium and Olympic-sized swimming pool which allow a diverse sporting curriculum to be offered to the students there. At the end of the visit, HS students played in friendly games with students from the hosting school to
widen the Hougeans’ sporting exposure. In the afternoon, they visited the
Big Buddha Temple located at the peak of Nakkerd Hill, where they connected with nature and learn to appreciate traditional and religious practices which aligns with school value of ‘Respect’. Phuket's Big Buddha is 45m tall and one of the most important and revered landmarks on the island. The whole body was constructed with reinforced concrete, layered with beautiful Burmese white jade marble that shines in the sun. The views at the hilltop were stunning and breathtaking!
On the 3rd day, as soon as they arrived at the Youth Football Home Foundation, they sprang into action with excitement, executing all the games planned for the Sports Day for the local students. It was an unforgettable experience for them as they came together from various sports CCAs and created a memorable day of fun for the children. This platform further strengthened the trust the group had with one another since they started out from the planning stages. From this experience and interaction with the children, they learnt to be more grateful for all the opportunities they had back in HS and
Singapore. After the sports day,
the excitement continued as they visited the Muay Thai training camp, kno
wn as Phuket Top Team. Muay Thai is a martial art that originated from Thailand. The group was very fortunate to be trained by the world legendary fighter, Mr Lerdsila who won the World Championship title 5 times. Despite being exhausted, the Hougeans demonstrated GRIT and persevered throughout the training.
On the last day of the trip, they had a thrilling outdoor activity known as Zorbing Rollerball. This activity generated massive adrenaline and excitement as the students descended the 190m hill inside a three-metre diameter flexible plastic ball. This was also a perfec t opportunity to apply their knowledge learnt in Physical Health & Fitness (PHF) lessons such as balance and coordination as well as teamwork as they maneuver from one point to another down the sloping route. Oh they had so much fun! Just before they head back to the airport for the flight home, they visited the Upside Down House Museum where they challenged their perspectives and put on their ‘ingenuity hat’ to take attractive photos that looked disorientating yet funny and creative. This visit inspired them to look at everyday objects from a different lens.
Overall, this Overseas Learning Journey has enabled the students to gain much from the meaningful interactions with the Thai counterparts as well as forge stronger friendships within the group of Sports CCA students.