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Student-Athletes Find Bright Spots In Home-Based Learning And Training

Home-Based Learning and Training

Home-Based Learning and Training (HBLT) makes a return as schools were told to move lessons online from 19 May to 28 May, in a bid to curb the spikes in Covid-19 community cases.

Student-athletes, teachers and coaches were better-prepared this year, with last year’s HBLT setting the precedence for virtual learning and online training to be a regular mainstay. This year, the Ministry of Education provided schools with Home-Based Learning guidelines and offered learning resources for academic subjects, as well as resources for schoolchildren’s wellbeing.

With HBLT being a practical measure in the continued fight against the pandemic, the family home now becomes the next-best venue for studying and training. Although this may mean the lack of infrastructure and routine that a school provides, student-athletes, teachers and coaches made full use of technology to keep the student-athletes focused and in prime learning mode.

Student-athletes had their academic lessons conducted using video conferencing software such as Google Meet, and sports training continued, albeit safely online. Academy coaches sent out training videos and logs so that student-athletes can monitor their self-training load. Training together via video conferencing software were also key to improving team morale.

Secondary 4 shooter Ariana Beh Yoke Ching said that she found some challenges with having e-learning lessons as she had to keep focusing on the computer screen all day and found her eyes getting tired.

“I bought blue light glasses and make sure to take breaks in between classes. My teachers also make sure we have time to rest our eyes. And to motivate myself to keep going, I reward myself with something after spending a good amount of time studying.”

Batchmate and footballer Kierann Thomas Ward also cited the same issues with online lessons: “I do not like spending time looking at a computer screen, but I keep myself motivated by focusing on the benefits of HBLT, and by taking frequent breaks from looking at the screen.”

Secondary 3 paddler Ser Lin Qian was thankful that HBLT gave her an opportunity to plan her time wisely by using pockets of time in between classes: “I feel that HBLT allows me to have more time to rest from my hectic school schedule. However, one of the biggest challenges is the lack of self-discipline. To minimise this, I make sure that I finish all the work that I need to do earlier, so that I can have the time to relax and rewind later during the day.”

On the sport front, our student-athletes are keeping themselves in tip-top condition, giving their all in their training exercises. Ranging from lunges, to leg lifts, to perfecting their sport techniques, student-athletes across the various sports make use of the real-time training with their coaches and their peers to keep their spirits up and the camaraderie was apparent even through the screens.

Although, this means that that Ariana, who was 2021 National School Games B Division 10m Air Rifle Women Individual champion, is unable to practise in the range: “As we cannot shoot, we have to keep ourselves healthy and fit by doing strength training and Tabata workouts during physical training. We also do some yoga and visualisation techniques for mental exercises.”

Lin Qian, who recently made it to World No. 3 in the Girls U15 ranking by the International Table Tennis Federation, also voiced the same concerns: “Since I am not able to train on a table, I will definitely lose the feeling of the racket and the ball. But I remind myself that I am not the only one facing this, so I do my best by using my racket to do some simple spins and actions with the ball and also some movements without the table.”

“During the training sessions, the coaches will make us do physical training such as push-ups and sit-ups, but I try to do more by myself every day, in addition to the HBLT sessions. I train myself by doing ball control drills such as juggling the ball and passing against a wall,” adds Kierann.

Incoming Student Council President Sabrina Lee Jingyi (Badminton, IBDP Year 5), had some advice for her fellow schoolmates who are cooped up at home: “I hope my fellow student-athletes are able to adjust well to staying home. Don't worry too much about the future, and just continue putting in your best effort for studies and training. It's rare that we get a chance to slow down and enjoy time at home, so I hope everyone makes good use of it, and maybe even pick up new hobbies to relieve stress.”