Song reclaim Swim Gala crown

Written by Zoe Ying

Good humour and house spirit win the day

On Thursday, September 19, the annual Renaissance College Swim Gala took place at the Ma On Shan Swimming Pool.  As Sports Day’s watery counterpart and the first major event of the year, Swim Gala was a high-energy, high-stakes competition.  The gala showcased not only the stamina and skill of the College’s athletes but also the enthusiasm the students have towards their respective houses, from fresh-faced Year 7s to senior-school alumni.  

In the stands energy was kept up by the music, kindly supplied by teachers Cameron Otto and Lynne Wilson through a huge speaker liable to blast out the ears of anyone sitting within five feet of it. Classic hits included Don’t Stop Me Now, The Final Countdown, Start Me Up and, of course, the all-time favourite Never Gonna Give You Up, which prompted much groaning from the crowd.

“I think there was a lot of spirit shown today,” said Veronica Chan, a new student.  “I felt right at home with my Song family - we never had anything like this in our old school.”  Her friend Jenny Lee agreed, saying that “it’s good that there are no heats - anybody can sign up to the races, and people of all ability levels swim together.  At the end of the day, I guess it’s just about having a good time with your friends.”  

Qing students were spotted strumming green ukeleles, and it wasn’t uncommon to see Tang students in red tutus

Vibrant house spirit was evident throughout and shared by members of all houses in various ways.  Badges and banners were distributed and Song had tattoos too. Some Qing students were spotted strumming green ukeleles, and it wasn’t uncommon to see Tang students in red tutus. Unlikely patriot, Head of English Graeme Brasher, was spotted chanting the mantra “Qing! Qing! Qing!”

As it turns out, Ming does not keep winning.  Song took home the cup this year, with Tang in second, Ming third and Qing last.  

“I knew it,” claimed one enthused Song student, “Song’s obviously the best house.  The only reason we lost last year was because all of our best swimmers were sick.” Her Ming house friend shook her head disapprovingly.  

“We’d like to thank every single Song member for their passion and spirit in this year’s swim gala,” commented Alfa Cheung and Shevaun Yip, Senior Song House Captains.  “Whether you were swimming, or cheering in the stands, all of you helped make this gala unforgettable.”

As usual the key to success was participation and willingness to compete - each house’s athletes were equally competent, and that made for an exciting and intense competition.  Melissa Booker, new Song house director, shared similar sentiments: “It was because of our participation that we won. Looking down at the lanes, most of the time, we had people showing up and swimming, as compared to other houses.”

“Even though we didn’t win, I think we should applaud everybody who showed up and had a go,” said Junior Qing House Captain Harsha Madhu.  “Congratulations to all four houses for their support and spirit throughout the event!”