Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SIFE World Cup 2011 Post-Trip Reflection

SIFE World Cup 2011
Post Trip Reflection

One word. Awesome.

The whole SIFE World Cup experience begun with the cultural fair held at one of the spacious ballrooms in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). The fair is where each country taking part in the World Cup has a booth to showcase their respective country’s cultures and traditions.

The people behind the various booths were all really pumped up and excited to share with others about their home country! At one point in time, the team from South Africa started doing their traditional dance and everyone around got drawn towards it and joined in as well. The massive crowd dancing around eventually got so huge that maneuvering around the booths was extremely difficult. It was certainly a sight to behold, people from all over the globe getting along harmoniously under the influence of SIFE.

Just being in the cultural fair would make one feel as though they had travelled to all 37 countries, learning, enjoying and experiencing their lifestyles. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Well, since Hafidz and I were in charge of Singapore’s cultural booth and could not neglect it, we kind of missed out on most of the fun, which we felt was really such a waste. Hafidz was saying he regretted not being able to take pictures with everyone in their traditional costumes. As for me, I just felt sore not being able to get that Canada printed shirt! Hahhahah! Cheap-skate I know…

Meanwhile, Kingston, one of the presenters for Team Singapore was having loads of fun at the fair…Yeah that’s the Canada shirt on his back. (PS: Andrew, Vaish has one too!)

Before we even knew it, the 2 hours long cultural fair had sadly come to an end. This marked the end of all the fun and games, and it was about time we got down to business- the reason why all 37 countries had come down to KLCC, to claim that SIFE World Cup 2011 Champion trophy.

The rest of the story is going to be pretty plain since we didn’t manage to capture many pictures.

The opening ceremony was held in a spherical shape theatre. The moment we entered, we were awe-struck by the sheer number of participants for the World Cup. We all felt as though we were attending a concert as the atmosphere felt grand and to be honest, a bit intimidating as well. You would be able to see for yourselves in the video link below, all the flags waving around the theatre with the countless number of supporters from each country. This might be somewhat of an exaggeration but it almost seemed like China had brought half their nation down as supporters!

Here is the URL link for the opening ceremony video.

Opening speeches here and there, then the drawing of lots ceremony. This is where the different countries draw lots and choose their timeslot and leagues. SIFE Singapore Polytechnic got into League 8 competing against Australia, Puerto Rico, and United Kingdom. Out of these 4 teams, only 2 would qualify to proceed to the semi-finals. The results : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUIWxmxU92U&feature=relmfu
Skip to 48:05 for the actual announcement of the results for league 8.

Otherwise I can just tell you that, Singapore Polytechnic won and got into the semi-finals! Making us the top 16 out of the 37 Universities participating from all over the world! Yes, we were the only Polytechnic in the competition, the other teams were all made up of members with an average age of 24 years old. That’s a pretty great achievement just by itself. Not to mention the glee on our faces realizing we had won the superpower United Kingdom.

After that, came the drawing of lots again to decide the timeslot and leagues for the semi-finals. In which out of 4 teams only 1 would emerge as the finalist. We got lucky this time and were the first to pick. We chose the last timeslot of league 2 which would give us an competitive advantage. However we were up against China, one of the finalists for SIFE World Cup 2010, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Team Zimbabwe came up as the black horse defeating both Singapore and China. But I must say, they truly deserved their win. :)

If you have read this far, you might think that SIFE is all about the intense competition with only the trophy in mind. However, from the bottom of my heart, I believe that members of SIFE SP have all gained much more than just that. What we have truly gained, is the opportunity to help the underprivileged, to empower them and to give them hope for a better tomorrow. All of this, just so that we can once again, put the smiles on their faces. For it is those smiles which are a proof of our true success, and that certainly, is the best trophy that anyone of us could ever get.


I totally agree with Andrew! Hello there reader! Sorry for cutting in, but I just felt it might be useful to add my two pennies worth to this awe-inspiring article by Andrew, Kingston and Hafidz! :)

Well, honestly being a presenter puts things into a whole new perspective. Though it may look incredibly easy to present something that we know inside out, it is when you get involved in behind-the-scenes-work that you will realize that it may not always, be that pleasant. Kingston and Andrew should know! Hafidz, better consider yourself lucky ah!

Hahaha, well let me give you an introduction to how things work. In March, the run-up towards the Nationals Competition- you’ll rush to finish all your school assignments and projects and CCA commitments while writing the SIFE script, calculating the financials, compiling pictures, doing presentation slides, even creating an iPhone App! J Once the holidays arrive, things will get slightly worst. You’ll be writing, writing and re-writing scripts in every waking minute, tutoring biomedical students a refresher course in financial management within days, memorizing lines within hours, panicking like mad due to last-minute changes, having to answer silly questions from members of the audience and practically going crazy counting down the days for the entire competition to end. And once you’ve won the Nationals in June, it’s not over. You’ll go through the entire phase all over again, just that your heartbeat would be ten times faster now because you’ll be facing the entire world in October. Welcome to the life of a SIFE presenter. :)

However, to my surprise, just a few days back, during the actual World Cup, I had a complete switch in mindset. Standing on that platform, telling that story we worked so hard on for 8 months, I realized that all that hard work we had gone through was truly worth it. That one moment, we were the voices of the people who were truly suffering and brought their problems forth for the world to witness and realize just how many people around us are in need of things we sometimes, take for granted.

I was incredibly grateful for that opportunity I had to share with the world how we had been the beacon of hope for these people and empowered them to create for themselves a brighter future. As Andrew mentioned earlier, the World Cup trophy was just recognition of our efforts, winning it no longer mattered. What truly went through my mind as I said every single word of my speech were the hopeful faces of those children I had interacted with, the farmers who could now afford to send their children to school, the housewives who now had enough food to go around the family. The fact that they now see hope for their future, see a reason to live and are confident of creating a positive change in their environment, that alone made me realize that we had already won our World Cup. :)

We have indeed come a long way, yet for SIFE SP, this is just the beginning.

There is much more waiting to be done in the world but the most important thing SIFE has taught us is that, with a head for business and a heart for the world, nothing in the world is too difficult to overcome.

SIFE WORLD CUP 2012 (Washington, DC)

And guess what folks? SIFE World Cup 2012 will be held in Washington, DC!!

PS: Miss Lim Kim Ying has already packed her bags to follow us there even though the National competition has yet to begin! With such supportive lecturers backing us all the way throughout this journey, it definitely wouldn’t be surprising if we really end up winning the World Cup in Washington, DC! Thanks a million for your unwavering support, Ms Kim! :D

-Proudly authored by:

Andrew Tan, Kingston Wong, Tengku Hafidz, Vaishnavi Naidu, Eileen Soh,
DBIT Year 2 EBS Option

1 comment:

Kim @ SP said...

WOOHOO! Way to go SIFE SP! (ps: I don't mind to (REALLY) to accompany you to Washington DC) :-)