Have competitive and club teams to include all for CCA

The basketball team of Christ Church Secondary School having physical training at the basketball court. Co-curricular activity need not mean intense competition for everyone, says the writer.
The basketball team of Christ Church Secondary School having physical training at the basketball court. Co-curricular activity need not mean intense competition for everyone, says the writer.PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr Goh Lay Sung raised a salient point about how children could be denied opportunities in developing their extra-curricular interests if they don't exhibit the level of potential or competence necessary for competition (Why are CCAs accepting only the 'best' students?, March 2).

When I was in primary school, I was denied the opportunity to play netball because the teacher openly declared that her selection criterion was based on size, and I was bypassed for players who were bigger and taller.

I didn't even make it as a reserve player, and cried on my way home that day.

Determined to pursue my passion for the game, I chose netball again as my co-curricular activity (CCA) in secondary school. I knew I had to play extra hard to earn my spot on the team, which I did.

Our team proceeded to win the national championship in my junior year and several of us were further chosen to represent Singapore in the Under-17 team.

We did not do it on our own; we managed to fulfil our potential because our coach not only nurtured our interests, but also immeasurably developed our competencies in the game.

CCA, however, need not mean intense competition for everyone.

There can be a competitive school team as well as a club team that comprises those who simply wish to pursue their CCA of choice as a personal interest on a less competitive level.

For this club, friendly games with club teams from other schools could be arranged.

This way, regardless of one's aptitude level, everyone is allowed to pursue a CCA for which an innate motivation is present.

I will add that till this day, our team, which has expanded to include players from former rival schools and family-member additions like spouses and children, still gets together every weekend for netball games in an enduring camaraderie reflective of the goals of CCA: promotion of friendships, social integration and holistic development of self.

Lily Ong (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2019, with the headline 'Have competitive and club teams to include all for CCA'. Print Edition | Subscribe