What a blast!

Text and Photographs: Dong Tianzhao
Oops! Photojournalist: Jacob Yeo

The Student Personal Development Programme (SDPD) is held twice a year during every semester break. This installment of the programme marks the 30th run of the SDPD which was first launched in November 1992.

Each run of the SDPD features 70 different classes such as nail painting, cooking classes, horse-riding sessions all the way to ski classes and is designed to enrich students’ life at the Polytechnic. Through the SPDP, students become more socially competent by developing their civic and cultural awareness and adopting healthy lifestyles. With these life skills, they would be better equipped as they graduate from SP to the working world.

Oops! managed to be part of this run of the SDPD and attended two classes where we went skiing as well as cable wakeboarding.

Read on to find out more!

Ski Class at Snow City
by Dong Tianzhao

Moving to the starting line!              Waiting for my turn!

Let’s ski away!

I have visited snow covered Alps but have never been fortunate enough to try skiing down those glorious hills. So when we were asked to cover the ski class at Snow City as part of the Personal Development Programme (SPDP), I jumped at the chance to learn the basics of how to ski.

The class which took place on 4th September on the slope of Snow City was around two and a half hours long. It featured the basics of how to glide and also how to stop on skis besides just having fun in the snow! Plus a lucky few members of the class got the chance to learn how to slalom and also ski down from the top of the slope.

I must say that I have always had the perception that skiing was about as easy as just crouching down to balance while the ski glides smoothly along but I think many of us were proven wrong that night.

Ready and waiting                        When can we go?

This is the way you do it!

To get moving on the skis was rather easy, the majority of the class were able to glide down a short distance of the slope while only a few could barely even stand. Braking on skis took a decent amount of effort and for myself, falling down was definitely a more effective way to stop moving!

Getting ready to go! Just do it this way!

You are getting it right!             Woah!

This is not the way it looks!            I’m having fun!

Overall, the enthusiasm of the class and the friendships that bonded over the short duration of the class, I would say it was a success as most of us went in with zero knowledge of skiing but came out with enough to enjoy a holiday at a ski resort.

“I came for the class with my friends and to have some fun learning how to ski, I would love to go to Switzerland for a ski trip after this class if I had the chance to” said Aaron Ng, 19, a DARE student from the School of MM.

I also spoke to one of the instructors Joel Lian and here is a breakdown of a basic ski kit just in case anyone is interested in purchasing their own.

That’s me in the cool gear!

Jacket – $350
Pants – $350
Gloves – $100
Boots – $500
Board – $1000

A total whopping amount of $2300 to fork out to kickstart the hobby!

As expensive as it may seem to some, it is explained that skiing is not only a sport, but also a lifestyle to many. So before you start splurging on equipment, make sure that you have a deep interest in it and are ready to be dedicated enough to make it a lifestyle choice!

It’s not all about learning!

It’s also about having fun the traditional way!

SP students at SNOW CITY!

What a blast!

Aside from skiing in sub-zero temperature, we moved on to a different climate with the same sport on a different surface – Cable Skiing and Wakeboarding at the East Coast Park Cable Ski Park.

Cable Skiing and Wakeboarding at East Coast Park Cable Ski Park
by Jacob Yeo

Getting ready to hit the waters!

Strapping on the board gave me a sense of excitement as others ahead of me watched in awe as wakeboarders as young as seven grasped the cable confident and ready to go! Executing their launch perfectly, they were soon cutting through the waves of the lagoon. We were not the only ones impressed though, I overheard a couple of twelve year old kids whom were so amazed at seeing boys younger than them being so skillful such that they went to ask him how old he was. Seeing them showing off their skills motivated us.

Singapore Poly invades the cable ski park!

When it came to my turn, I prepared myself when the person before me went off and flipped over and fell into the sea. Thinking I was ready for anything as I am quite the sportsmen, I thought I could execute this perfectly. I only realized how wrong I was when the front of my board dipped into the water and sent me flying face down. Although it is a difficult sport to master, I am sure that It would bring about lots of satisfaction when you have it down pat. In fact, seeing those professionals doing it so effortlessly sure got me excited!

Ready to launch!

Although most of us were not able to stay on the surface of the water long enough to ski the whole lap, we understood the basics of keeping our balance on the board. This sport definitely involves a lot of good balance and coordination of your hands and legs. Many of us whom attended the course may not have grasped the concept of balancing on the board as well as we had hoped, but at the end of the day we sure did feel a sense of achievement, knowing that we were brave enough to attempt extreme sports!

Oops!’s very own Jacob Yeo – I did it!

“Even though we may have chosen to spend the holidays in Singapore, we sure went to the extremes to have fun!”


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