Seeking a Personal Best

Seeking a Personal Best

March 16, 2018

Last weekend was a very big weekend for ISF students who represented their school proudly in a very broad range of competitive activities, in the pool, on the water, on court, and on the chess board. A number of our students took part in 'national' level competitions, pitting their abilities against strong and well-trained adversaries. Water was a common theme.

At the Hong Kong Age Group Short Course Swimming Championships, we saw some extraordinary performances from our students. In nine events, ISF students set nine 'personal best' times. In one case, a student chasing a World Cup qualifying time, fell agonizingly short, missing the target by a fraction of a second. Another student, in the heat of competition, took eight seconds off her previous best time.

At Middle Island, I had the enormous privilege and pleasure to see our young sailors proudly fly our school‘s colours against the best school-based sailing teams in Hong Kong. Our Pico Class team, undefeated until the very last race, improved from their 4th place in 2017 to 2nd place in 2018 in the 'gold' squad. This team ranged in age from Grade 4 to Grade 8, besting much older crews. In the Feva Class, we gained valuable experience against strong opposition to finish in first place in the 'silver' round of final competition. Again, it was a relatively young team that took to the water to represent our school. The use of team tactics and working together, even when sailing in different boats, contributed enormously to the final results.

What can we say of these performances and the students who achieved them? Some observers from outside our school were very surprised at these results. Our coaches and leaders, on the other hand, were quick to point to the dedication, commitment, perseverance and desire shown by each student, striving to be the best on the day in their event. There was no magic formula or tactic. Just hard work and self-belief.

While other competitors may have been the 'apparent' adversary on the day, each student, in their own way, set out to achieve a personal best, taking their team or individual performance to level beyond that which had been achieved in the past. Certainly, there was some disappointment in not quite beating a qualifying time, or losing a final race to a highly skilled adversary. There was fierce determination, however, to make sure that the next opportunity would see another personal best. As an educator and a parent, I could not ask for any more.



Dr. Malcolm Pritchard

Head of School


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