In 2016, I was left back during my school's first competitive football fixture of the year. I quickly lost count of the number of times I was left flat-footed by the opposing winger. As a team, we chased and harried our opponents and, despite our valiant efforts, left the pitch on the wrong end of an 11-0 scoreline.
Should our opponents have gone easy on us or adhered to a mercy rule to cap defeats? Of course not. It was a competitive fixture and they were entitled and obliged to give it their all.
Contrary to the notion that students on the wrong end of such defeats will experience "psychological adversity that may trigger a fear response if confronted with a similar scenario even years later" our NUS High team faced up to reality (School sports set-up needs fine-tuning, say observers, Feb 2).
Yes, we were humiliated on the pitch, but we accepted that the other team simply outclassed us on every front - physicality, pace, technique. It was a well-deserved victory for them. Furthermore, it would have been doubly humiliating had the opponents started taking it easy.
This is the crux of the problem: How the public reacted to it. As a nation, we need to accept that these scorelines happen, and instead of trying to bury the heads of youth in sand by avoiding these fixtures, we ought to embrace the result as a form of experiential learning.
Dayrius Tay Jiale, 18