Deep in the dawn, 32 students accompanied by 5 teachers gathered to embark on their journey towards their highly anticipated competition of the year – U13 FOBISIA A1 Games
We boarded the coach and headed towards Kuala Lumpur International Airport awaiting our flight by Cathay Pacific to Shanghai. Our journey was filled with laughter and excitement as the curiosity towards our performance grew tremendously. The Alice Smith School had also been allocated the same flight resulting in some intense yet friendly interaction between us competitors. We had a tight transition at Hong Kong International Airport due to the delay in touching down. Luckily with efficient management, we arrived at the gate in time to settle down on the plane headed to Pudong International Airport. We landed around half past five to be warmly received by Dulwich’s representative as a guide towards the Ramada Plaza Hotel. Buffet was offered for dinner with the highlight being the self-serving Haagen Dazs ice cream with us queuing up with exhilaration. We were assigned rooms of two and settled for a good night rest.
After a hearty breakfast, we left the hotel for Dulwich Shanghai College to begin an action-packed day of Football. An exquisite dance was performed during the opening ceremony to mark the beginning of the games. The weather was a consistent five degrees celsius with us wrapped thickly up in clothes. Kick off for both boys and girls were against the competitive Bangkok Patana concluding with a narrow loss for the boys and a 1-0 loss for the girls through a free kick. Victory was established against Shrewsbury International School with (2-0) for the girls and another narrow loss for the boys. The girls contest was extremely close and they narrowly missed out on a medal position. Support from both athletes and parents were incredibly overwhelming ending the day in fifth place for the boys and fourth for the girls. The girls team only conceded one goal in 5 games and that was from a lucky freak free kick. They were extremely unlucky to not pick up a medal. Another day with slightly more luck in front of goal and we could have even been taking home gold. Gotta love Football!
It was a tiring day of basketball. The court being indoors was comforting for us as we knew that warmth would be provided. The tip off started with both the boys and the girls playing against Shrewsbury International School with a loss for the girls and a close loss for the boys. The next set of fixtures saw the boys get a massive win against old rivals Patata. Beating a school that has over 2800 students is an awesome achievement and the boys were obviously buzzing by that result. The girls sadly continued on their unlucky streak with a vigorous game against Patana and a narrow loss of 10-8. The girls then carried on against Alice Smith, Tanglin Trust and Dulwich College ending the day with the girls in 6th and boys in 4th place respectively. The boys narrowly missed out on a medal position. We still held our heads up high knowing we tried our best.
We began our early journey headed off on an hour bus ride to Shanghai American School for Athletics. The weather was cold and windy leaving us with a doubt of our ability. Nevertheless, we did a team warm up led by Mr Corbett and prepared to compete against the other schools. We ended up with 12 medals as a team and the girls coming 3rd in the relay after Maia joined to replace Nikita who was injured. We put in 110% of our effort and were happy despite not achieving what we expected. Our lunch was catered by Shangri-La as we ate on the 1 hour bus ride back to the school to begin swimming. The team came away with 10 medals from the swimming, including a gold medal for Carlotta Ceccarelli in the 50M Butterfly race. After a tiring day of sport, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the closing ceremony and gala dinner. A lesson we had learnt was how it is crucial for us athletes to have bounce-back ability. It is the resilience that will help take us to a different level. We then proceeded to the hall for dinner and a mini disco afterwards. It was the end of FOBISIA – the competition that we had highly anticipated.
In the early morning, we left the hotel and headed towards Pudong International Airport. We all had missed our parents and were excited to go home but sad that FOBISIA had gone by in a flash. After a long and exhausting journey, we finally reached KL and got back at school at 10:15pm. We thanked the coaches for the brilliant opportunity and care and headed back home! FOBISIA in Shanghai was a new experience with the weather and company. We may not have came home with what we hoped for, but we all knew that we gave our best. Lots of amazing memories and lessons to take forward into future sporting events.