In February 2016, the then Year 10 Option 5 students were set a project question to answer: “Can Malaysia host a major world sporting event?”
After half a term’s worth of research and analysis, these Year 10 groups presented their finding to parents, teachers, other students and experts from the sporting world. With the latter in mind, we were lucky enough to have the ex-Olympian and current High Performance Sports (HPS) Director from the Malaysian Olympic Committee, Keith Power and the Head of Stakeholder Affairs from UEFA, Alex Phillips, critiquing the presentations and asking questions related to them.
All in attendance were impressed by the depth of analysis and the overall standard of the information presented. It was agreed that the two most engaging and well-researched projects would be awarded a visit to the Asian Football Confederation Headquarters in Bukit Jalil with Alex Phillips as our guide. Nine months later, Roan Brinkhorst, Stephen Weller, Tara Sekhar, Jessica Lazaro, Abd Muiz Abd Halim, Esther Pua, Isabella Ricotta, Arianna Chow (and Mr. Jennings) found themselves AFC bound!
The day initially consisted of a presentation on the Asian Football Confederation’s role within the world of world football. This involved lots of information on how the AFC are trying to promote all sorts of football regionally from women’s soccer to men’s futsal to U17 youth world cups. The presentation led to an in-depth Q&A session with Alex Phillips in which he was asked some quite challenging questions from our students. The group then had a tour of the AFC building and grounds and got to see a world sporting organisation going through its duties and tasks on a day to day basis. Throughout the visit, there were plenty of snacks and drinks and a few gifts distributed at the end much to the delight of all present.
Here is what some of the Year 11 students had to say about the day:
- "The visit to the AFC was definitely one of the cooler opportunities I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Being able to witness the happenings in a professional workplace outside of school was eye-opening and a very informative adventure." Izzy Ricotta
- "We found the trip very interesting as it allowed us to understand how larger confederations such as the AFC help the Asian clubs and football associations in improving the quality of their clubs and the quality of their football" Roan Brinkhorst
- "Being someone who simply loves football, the trip was especially inspiring, giving me an insight into a possible career path as we were allowed to witness the company at work throughout our tour" Jess Lazaro
- “I thought the trip was really fun! I also loved how we got free things, I love free things! I learnt a lot about AFC and how similar it is to UEFA just not up to that really high standard. Overall, I really enjoyed the trip. (To improve I would suggest we go to McDonalds next time, lol!)” Tara Sekhar
Overall, the day was as interesting as it was inspiring and even though there won’t be a trip to McDonald's any time soon, it would be good to organise another visit to the AFC with a larger cohort of students in the near future.
Option 5 Teacher
Click here for this week's full issue - 11th November 2016