Remembering My Primary School (Part 4)

by Patrick Liew on October 5, 2011

When I was in Primary School, I looked forward to the end of class. We had so many fun and exciting activities that kept us busy literally until night fall.

I loved sports and played almost every game that the school offered.

From football, basketball, running, gymnastics, badminton, table tennis, to swimming, I enjoyed all of them. I was quite an athlete and have won a few medals too.

There were weeks when I was just practically immersed in sports.

When the sun was at its warmest, my friends and I would lay out simple mats and we would do gymnastics.

Mr. Goh. Ek Khoon, our coach, was a very good man, but he was not a gymnast. He was unable to demonstrate many of the more complicated techniques to us.

However, he took great pain to explain how every tumble and turn could be executed. On many occasions, we would experiment and learn through trials and errors.

We might play table tennis but there was only one table in the school. It was a case of the winner could stay on while the loser had to give up his place to the next player.

I was quite good at the game. Therefore, I was able to hang on to my turn for a longer period of time.

Fortunately, in between turns, we could play badminton. This was another game that I enjoyed and could play well – but I was not good enough to represent the school in any competition.

Towards the end of the day and when it was cooler, we might play football. I was told that I was quite a good dribbler.

When we play on a mini-sized field, there were times when I could dribble the ball from my side to the other side, outwit my opponents and score goals – all on my own.

However, my energy wouldn’t be able to last for the entire game and it was not the right thing to do.

We had to learn how to play well as a team if we want to emerge as the winner.

That was the time when I dreamt to be like Bobby Charlton, my football idol.

You can guess I’m a real man. I support Manchester United (Man U) and will continue to do so till the last day of my life. What’s wrong with the rest of you guys?  🙂

In 2010, I fulfilled my childhood dream when I visited the homeground of Man U and took a photograph with the statue of Sir Bobby Charlton. It was a pity I did not see him when he was alive.

Another game that I enjoyed and played almost every evening was basketball. I was not good in this sport because of my perfect height. The others were just too tall.  🙂

Once a week, I attended swimming practice by Mr. Wee Beng Tuan, who was also our Vice-Principal. I could swim using any of the major strokes, although my favourite was still the breaststroke.

This sport started me on a lifelong love for swimming and in many ways, inspired me to love the sea, sand, and surf.

Every now and then, we might go to Macritchie Reservoir to practice cross country running. I loved long distance running and excelled in it right through my secondary school days.

Looking back, I have learned a lot of lessons about life – outside the classroom. Many of the lessons I learned were the results of being involved in sports.

Life is like sports.

I can study life through a game of sports and it can be done in just a few hours.

I can learn vital lessons from sports to win in life.

Through sports, I can strengthen my winning body, mind and spirit.

I can develop a ‘champion’ character, including having a positive attitude, knowledge-base, skill set and spirit.

Sports teach me to work with others and win as a team. As they say, ‘A champion team is better than a team of champions.’

Competition – or to use a business term, benchmarking – brings out the best from me and inspires me to be the best.

It is not just the spirit to win that matters, but how I strengthen the spirit to win.

Sports teach me to make full use of every split second because every split second can make a difference.

Preparation to win starts way before the actual game. The harder I prepare, the harder it is to lose.

Preparation does not only help the team to win, it also ensures that it will be hard for the team to lose.

Winners play till they win. Losers give up before the game is over.

For winners, the game never ends because there is always another game. For losers, the game is over when it is over.

Winners play until they get it right. Losers never realize what went wrong.

Winners go all the way to the end. Losers end up going nowhere.

Winners saw the win through the eyes of their mind. Losers only saw the game happening before their eyes.

Winners commit their lifetime to win. Losers are not prepared to commit the time in their lives to win.

Losers who lose a game will break down. Winners who lose a game will use it to achieve new breakthroughs and break records.

Sports can help me to develop a winning spirit. It can help me to win in life.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Transformation blog at

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we learn lessons about life from sports and use them to achieve our goals in life?





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