After playing four games, Aaron’s soccer team finally qualify for the quarter finals, the first P6 team from NYPS to do so since 2005. They beat Juying, Jurong West and Bt Panjang to emerge the top of the group.
I had watched them played a few matches and I could not stand the tension at the matches. The male fathers/teachers/coaches shouting at the sideline was too overwhelming. Most time i try not to be present but the few times I went to pick him up, the match was delayed and the last few minutes were the longest minutes I had to endure without even knowing the score.
At the game with Jurong West, which they drew, the pressure was so great that when NYPS missed a crucial goal and Aaron was pulled out of the match, the men at the side was jumping up and down. At the end, the coach praised them for a playing good match, for Jurong West was a stronger team. A touching moment for me was when Jurong West Primary School came over to our bench in a file, took a bow and said in unison, ‘Thank you Nanyang Primary School.’ What a great team! The school and coach should be really proud to have raised such fine young gentlemen.
Last Saturday at the training, the coach gave the team a prep talk. Apparently, out of 20 P6 players, only 5 turned up for training on Thursday. Why? Most of them had remedial/enrichment/piano/violin etc. For Aaron, his English teacher had refused to allow him to skip his remedial. I believe the others had the same problem. The coach implored the kids to speak to the teachers and parents. “You are in P6 and should be able to convince your teacher that’ll you study hard after the matches. Talk to them.”
He told the five GEP boys, ‘You may well get 260 or 270 for PSLE, but how many can say they belong to a winning soccer team? Talk to your teachers. Convince them to let you come for the matches and training.’
When Coach spotted me, he told Aaron, ‘Aaron, go home and study hard this weekend so that you mother will allow you to play soccer.’
That really did the trick. Aaron was rather conscientious last weekend, even forgoing his after-soccer nap. If he had not, he knew I would have either complained to Coach or pulled him out, as I had threatened a few times. This week alone, he would have missed supplementary class on Monday, piano on Wed and remedial on Thursday (that is, if his teacher allows it). After soccer which ends around 5pm, he is only able to complete his homework at night. Thus, a school player needs focus and organization skills, something he lacks now but i hope he learns through this experience.
The quarter finals matches are tougher and I hope the team do well, starting with the first match today. With so many activities going on in their lives, the boys should be proud of how far they’ve come.
Good luck, team NYPS!