Sunday, August 9, 2015

10th Malaysia National Open Figure Skating Championship & Basic Skill Competition Q & A (2) 5 April 2015

After interviewing the kids (link here),  LBS asked if I could answer some questions too.
I feel uncomfortable, knowing that the interview will be written on the their well known HS website.  
I thought this competition is just one easy, small scale one which do not need to be the "talk of the town" or need any attention and  may not be of any help in supporting the HS community. 

LBS replied of " If it is so easy, why don't you do it? "  And I think, "yeah she is right, I don't think I can do it, not after what I saw the kids went through" 

I still feel uncomfortable. But I decided to let that go and answer some questions, if that could be of help to Home Schooling or to you. 

Ehem, here it goes. 

1. How did your girls stumble upon ice skating? Did they ask to take classes? 

It started off as a homeschooler-playdate at the newly open Royale Ice Skating Rink, which is near to home in 2012. I am always supportive of physical activities.

On the first visit, En glided naturally and Hui did so too at the second visit. Much later, on one visit, they joined the free class offered at the rink. They enjoyed it and thereafter, they asked to take figure skating class in 2013.

2. Did you foresee that they will be taking part in competitions, let alone win medals? 

No, I don't foresee that and I don't have any expectations. They started lessons with a group of homeschool friends to pick up figure skating elements. I don't think much of it but seeing it as just a physical activity for them with their friends. Besides, I do not have much knowledge about ice -skating and I also did not find out more about it. At one level, I think it was at basic level three (Beta), their coach told me to buy figure skate shoes. At that point of time, I found out how expensive a pair of figure skate shoes can be ! ( Yes, I am that ignorant!)

I discussed with the kids and they said they wanted to continue learning. We talked about the cost and how could they help. We tried to source for cheaper shoes in Singapore to start with. (link here)

As for the competition, both went for the Royale Ice Skating Rink sponsorship audition and selection. En scored the highest  and was fully sponsored by the rink in everything (coach fees and competition fees) Hui scored the third but the  coach wish to take her as part of the national team and offered to train her up for free. I only paid for the competition fees. Without the sponsorship, I wouldn't be able to let them join this competition. I guess the competition came because of the sponsorship opportunity by the rink. I am very thankful of that. 

I see this as a new experience for them, that will build up their life experiences. 

As a matter of fact, this whole thing are much more than just ice-skating. We learnt about negative competition, jealousy, genuine supportive people, people who put you down, met with affluent families and understand their lifestyle and sandbagging, hardwork, stress, how to work with limited resources and much more.

Talking about competition, to my family, it is not the 'dog-eat-dog' kind. It should be you care about others and as well as yourself and you want them to succeed too as much as you want yourself to. 

3. What are the winning factors for their success?

I personally feel that, firstly is because they enjoy it a lot. After training (at times, 3 hours straight), they were exhausted but feeling happy and contented. They would go to bed smiling, telling me how they enjoyed skating daily. Second, they don't mind the hard work also because they enjoyed the training. Thirdly, it is their perseverance and emotional strengh. They go on despite the muscle pain and pressure from coaches. 

They handled the pressure well, contrary to a popular myth that homeschool kids are protected and sheltered from hard-knocks and not toughen up. 

Winning to me is NOT getting the medal. It is NOT getting the placing also. Winning is the whole process of going through the training or life and able to perform and persevere to the end despite the negative competition that majority are practising around them. It is the effort that they put in. It is to be able to see competition as positive, to learn from others and compete against yourself where it challenges you to reach and stretch and push yourself beyond your limit. 

My eyes welled up with joyful tears when I witnessed how Hui ran to her friend who was competing in the same event as her, happily exclaimed " I won second!" 
Her friend said to her " I won first !! " Hui jumped up and took her friend into her embrace and jumped with joy.

4. How do you feel about their involvement in ice-skating? Do they have other interests besides this? 

As long as they enjoy ice-skating, I will feel okay. Beside that, I feel it is very expensive. We have discussion after discussion on how to move on from time to time. (link here)
Yes, they have many other interest. They are interested in life as a whole. I can't never beat their enthusiasm in life. I am still trying to. 

5. Would you recommend other parents to let their kids do competivie skating? Is it an expensive hobby?

If their kids love it, I think it should be okay. Yes, it is a very expensive sport to my family. It may not be to others.

Me, the hairstylist! 
En sewn a hair scrunchie to match with the costume loaned from her coach

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