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THE SHIELD > Vigorous
  Swimming Gala
By Matthew Tang

Same as last year, the Annual Swimming Gala was held at the Li Cheng Uk Swimming Pool at 8:30 in the morning. The entrance was already filled with Wahyanites, and they were chattering noisily. The crowd started moving, and we all entered the site. Swimmers went down to the changing room to get changed, and the others 'fought' for the limited seats. Like last year, the sun was shining brightly, and everybody tried to sit towards the back to avoid the blazing sun. The spectators were concentrating on their activities, and it was no different at the pool. The swimmers seemed very calm and delighted. The first whistle was blown; the participants rose from the seats, stepped up on the platform and prepared themselves. The juniors were trembling a little, and held their breath.

The second whistle was blown, marking the start of events. The level of the swimmers could be determined from the first second of the contest-the way they dived. Some of them just jumped almost vertically upwards and then into the water in the form of a 'star', while others sprang horizontally into the surface of the water. There were of course a lot of excellent swimmers who swan like dolphins; they undoubtedly became the foci of the gala.

Sportsmanship was exhibited throughout, and to those who struggled to finish the event, we encouraged them with applause and cheers. I believe this was a very correct thing to do because even the weakest knew there were people supporting them. Of course, the champions always had the most glory. They stood on the prize-presentation platform and received the medals from the teachers. Still, the arrangement was pretty unfair to them. This platform was almost at the base of the spectator stand, and this created a blind spot for the students at the rear end.

Events were completed one after another and prizes were then awarded. Students became ecstatic once they heard the speech from our principal, Mr. So, because it marked the end of the swimming gala. In fact, this year's swimming gala was no different from last year's. The discipline was the same, the events were the same, the site was the same...everything was the same. Of course, the competitors were all worth praising because of their effort and participation in the gala. We should also be grateful to the prefects who sacrificed their time in keeping order. Still, I can't say the swimming gala was perfect-there is still room for improvement. Nevertheless, this event would be a memorable experience to those who had participated in the event.

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