SASS Hockey Team’s Display of Sportsmanship Does Us Proud
It was the bronze medal play-off for the Schools National B Division Boys’ hockey on March 29, and the score was tied at 1-1 in the third quarter when and a Northland Secondary player went down with a sprained ankle. After a medical time-out and play resumed against St Andrew’s Secondary, the Saints defender threw the ball to the other side of the pitch for Northland to start. But a miscommunication saw one of their forwards take the ball and score a goal. The umpire allowed the goal, which gave the Saints the lead at 2-1. Realising that their opponents were not ready and the ball should have been in Northland’s possession, the Saints requested for the umpire to overturn the goal.
“Allowing that goal was not the right thing to do. It wasn’t fair,” said Sean See, the captain and centre-back, who made the decision. “We scored even though it was supposed to be their ball. They were caught off guard; they weren’t ready.”
The umpire reverted the score back to 1-1 where it remained until full-time. Northland eventually won the game for the bronze medal in penalty shootouts (4-3). Although the Saints boys did not win the match, their fair play earned them the respect of their opponents, who clapped and thanked them for their act of sportsmanship.
The Straits Times reported in their April 12 article that “the boys won praise from umpire Ms Miskarmalia Mohd Ariffin, who said she had “never seen anything like this in her 12 years of umpiring.” She told Straits Times, “I was honestly very impressed by the boys. It shows that they have been really brought up well, by their parents, teachers and coaches. After the game, the St Andrew’s boys were obviously disappointed, but they kept their heads up, and even came to shake our hands and thank us for the game. The sportsmanship they showed was really heart-warming.”
Northland’s vice-principal Mr Daniel Yip told Straits Times, “When the St Andrew’s team requested to revert the score to 1-1, our team really appreciated their act of graciousness and sportsmanship.”
Bishop Rennis Ponniah wrote to school principal Ms Marion Tan, “It is a wonderful witness to our success-driven society that winning isn’t everything – how you win and winning fairly in keeping with the spirit of the rules is crucial.”
He congratulated the Saints Hockey boys, team captain Sean See, their teachers, head of PE and the hockey coach “for the wonderful testimony they have borne to the values that education in our Anglican schools are based upon – values derived from, and nourished by, our faith in the God revealed in holy Scripture.”
In his address to the school for morning devotions during assembly on 24 April, SAS alumni and Chairman of the Diocesan Education Board, Revd Joshua Sudharman, referred to two lessons Jesus taught in his Sermon on the Mount. The first is the principle of justice and fair play. Jesus taught the Golden Rule: do to others what you would want others to do to you. The hockey boys did this. “They acted honourably – so honourably that the referee herself was shocked!”
The second lesson taught by Jesus was: the eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. Rev Sudharman explained that it is important for our minds to see things in a healthy way, in agreement with God’s values as taught in the Bible.
He said, “The most important thing St Andrew’s School teaches you is something deeper than academic knowledge – something that makes you a man of grace and polish. Remember, you are a male by birth, but you are a man by choice! Our school song’s third verse beautifully captures the values our hockey team showed:
Ever onward to the fight
Ever upward to the light
Ever true to God and right
Up and on!"
Also present at this morning assembly were a few members from the Diocese and the Board of Governors to present plaques to the hockey boys. Rev Joshua Sudharman told the boys he hoped
this special occasion will stand out from the mundane details of their lives to be permanently etched in their memories.
When interviewed, Bishop Rennis said, “The Board and I are richly blessed and very proud of our boys for their exemplary character and conduct." School Board member Mr Georgie Lee praised the boys for being true and wise, and for “upholding the Biblical values for which the School stands for.” He expressed gratitude to the chaplains and the staff for imparting these values to the students. Fellow School Board member Mr John Teo said, “They have set the benchmark for all others to “Play the game! Keep the flame burning brightly ever!”
You can find the Straits Times article here.