Why does Ming keep winning?

Written by Amber Kwok

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On Wednesday, March 28th, the annual Renaissance College Athletics Carnival took place  at the Ma On Shan Sports Ground, featuring feats of strength, skill, and stamina between the secondary class.

Yet again, Ming House took the title as champion.

With a total of 71 Carnival points - 15 more than Song, who came second with 56 points - the House gained 1st place in the Track & Field, Cheerleading, and Tug of War, falling second only in the DIPS.

As an integral component to every school, the Athletics Carnival has been in existence since RCHK’s own beginning. For 8 straight years, Ming reigned as the sole victor of the Carnival; however, in 2016, Song unexpectedly broke the win-streak and maintained one of their own for 3 years. Students had, therefore, reason to believe that this year’s competition would be a neck-and-neck race between the two houses. But Ming won in a reasonably large gap above all three houses this year, and it leaves us all to wonder - what has Ming got, that the rest of us don’t? This point has been the subject to some annoyance for students of other houses.

“I obviously wanted my own house to win and I was rooting for it the whole time, but if it couldn’t be my house I wanted it to be Song or Tang because Ming already won so many times” said Year 11 Qing student, Long Yin Ho.

What has Ming got, that the rest of us don’t?

As frequent winners of the Swim Gala, House sports events, and in-class competitions, some believe that Ming house simply has, as its House Director Shane Donaldson claims, “generally the better athletes in the school.” He believes that all it took was to encourage Ming’s athletes to participate when they won the event, which led to what he described as “probably one of the happiest days of my life. To beat Song, and in particular Ms. Leung, was something I’ve dreamed about since becoming a house director. I was very proud of Ming.”

The most obvious confirmation of this claim is the Tug of War result - Ming vastly overpowered the rest of the houses, leading at a score of 5. Although Qing initially beat them, their house director was later exposed for accidentally recruiting too many teammates. Song, at a score of 4, was easily dragged off first place once the game was fair.

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For Year 11 House Captain Charisse Kong, however, the key to their success was ‘participation levels and willingness to compete’ on the whole, not just the athletes. Looking at the final Track & Field scores, which include all championships, the relay race, and participation points, it seems to be true  - Ming is leading at 1752, with the closest house behind it being Song, at 1512.

As one of the leaders of the Ming cheerleaders, Kong also mentioned that she was “very determined to kindle the passion for both sports and dance,” stating that she believes “a strong community begins with each members’ enthusiasm, which came in the form of groupo chants, finding and persuading them to step out of their comfort zone, and praising their efforts.” No wonder Ming, as with all the other four categories contributing to the final tally save for the DIPS - which Ming House Director Mr. Donaldson says “are really for people who can’t do track and field anyway, so we don’t care about that” - won the Cheerleading category, too.

The new Athletic Director, Nick Sheriff-Smith, had similar things to say: “The results did not surprise me, the houses that had the least 'no-shows' were the ones that did well. Until all races are full, mass participation is, and will always be the best chance for a house to win the overall competition.”

You only live once, and you’re only at school for a couple of years so why not give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen?

Sheriff-Smith remarked that he was “pleased with the event overall”, adding that he would “like to see more buy-in from all students overall, whilst a huge number of students took the opportunity to take part in as many of the athletics events and DIPS as possible, there were still quite a few events that had 'no-shows',” which he said was disappointing for him. He also promised to “look at ways to increase overall involvement whilst maintaining a high level of competition for the championship events.”

Overall, it seems that the secret to Ming’s success is participation. The Ming motto, according to Donaldson, is “turning up to your events and participation and supporting each other.”

When prodded for his sage advice to students participating in the next Athletics Carnival, he said to “just give everything a go,” explaining that “you only live once, and you’re only at school for a couple of years so why not give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen?”