A race like no other
by Muhammad Haiqal and Mohamed Suhail |July 29, 2013 -- Updated 10:17

PROBLEM SOLVING: Staff working together to solve a puzzle.

PROBLEM SOLVING: Staff working together to solve a puzzle. (Photo: Muhammad Haiqal)

With previous editions of Avontuur De Republic held off-campus, Republic Polytechnic’s (RP) signature sports event came home this year. Introduced in 2008, Avontuur De Republic is a multi-disciplinary team adventure race organised by the polytechnic. Running, biking, sports climbing, abseiling, paddling and navigating over a distance of 15 to 30km are part and parcel of the race.

Open to all Secondary, ITE, Polytechnic and JC students along with Alumni members, Avontuur De Republic has grown steadily in number of participants over the years since its inauguration. Republic Polytechnic’s Principal Mr Yeo Li Pheow was very proud of the way the race has evolved. “In terms of numbers, it has definitely gone up. This year we have 87 teams compared to 36 teams when we first started out. Hopefully next time when we organise this, it will be bigger,’’ he said at the event held on May 18.

Mr Yeo felt that hosting this race within and around the campus would offer greater visibility. “When we had it in Pulau Ubin previously, certain aspects of safety was a concern. By having it in RP, we have that safety part well covered because it’s in the Singaporean mainland itself. Of course it also means more students can get involved,” added Mr Yeo.

RARING TO GO: Getting participants to warm up and ready to go before the adventure race begins.

RARING TO GO: Getting participants to warm up and ready to go before the adventure race begins. (Photo: Muhammad Haiqal)

For the participants, it wasn’t just about getting to the finishing line first, some felt they learnt important lessons. “I think what we learnt the most from this race was teamwork and tolerance. At every station, it is all about trusting each other’s decisions and views,” said An Yi Wei, a Secondary 4 student. Along with Ian Pe and Darryl Thng, the Maris Stella High School trio won the Youth Boy’s category.

Most participants may not have won anything but they were happy to be at the race and were happy to finish. Trevor Anthony Jagatnath was among them

“We trained a lot. The past week was our preliminary examinations, so we tried our best to prioritise our time, train as much as we could and get the best finish possible,” said the Secondary Four student from Christ Church Secondary School.

Avontuur means ‘Adventure’ in Dutch, and Mr Yeo is happy that the name managed to garner attention. “We are very happy that the name somehow attracted attention as opposed to just calling it an adventure race,” said Mr Yeo who hopes this event becomes a national icon in the coming years. “By calling it such, I think we can attract more attention and hopefully this becomes a natural footprint and more and more schools get involved.”

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