Posted on 19-Sep-2014
September 11th, 2014
As I was relaxing in my comfort one fine day, memories of Drill Competition began to flash back. I recalled the anticipation we had as we were waiting for our turn to compete. Our hearts were racing and all we could think of was the reality that we were actually going to compete in the state level drill competition. Come to think of it, we weren’t even anywhere near ready just a day before yesterday. How we even managed to get here was really a miracle!
It started many months back when our captain, Mr. Nicholas Yeap, pushed us to join the state level drill competition that would be held to select the best competing teams to represent Kuala Lumpur State for the Kampar Pesta 2014. Our drill standard that time was horrible; we barely knew half of the steps that were needed for the competition. However, our Captain and Officers pushed us on, encouraging us that we could achieve the impossible. Captain managed to get a Drill Instructor, Mr. James Ng to coach us on our drill. Following that, I was asked to prepare the Camp itinerary and liaise with Mr. Andrew on the school side to get the consent letter done.
Upon discussion and checking on the availability of the school, on the 14th to the 16th of February, a drill camp for the drill team members was organized to further improve on our mediocre drill standard. Throughout the camp, our drill instructor, Mr. James Ng, patiently coached us even though we were a hard bunch of boys to teach. Most of us didn't take drill very seriously and just did it for the sake of doing it. Because of this, our drill standards were still not up to expectations even after the drill camp. We had only managed to go through the drill sequence without going much into detail. Little did we realise that our Officers and Captain were more anxious than us! Our Captain even took the initiative to drill alongside with us. Back then, I thought his presence actually scared us out of our comfort zone!
On the subsequent parades, we had our regular and extended practices for the drill team and our drill standard gradually improved but even as the date for the competition neared, our overall drill standard wasn't anywhere near what was required. We had contemplated many times to just give up on our dream of participating in the Drill Competition. To make things worse, we found out that we were practicing the KL State Drill Sequence from 2012 all these while. When we found out they had instead use the Pesta 2012 drill sequence instead, we felt defeated as we had practiced with the wrong drill sequence all these while. Our Officers, however, encouraged us not to give in but to give our best last shot! Above all, I remembered our Officers led us in prayer, committing to God whatever we could do and asked Him for the joy, strength and good coordination as well as teamwork and unity among the Drill Team members.
Despite the complications, the encouragement of our officers, our captain especially kept us going. On the weekend of the drill competition, we held a short stay over just few days before the Competition Day to really polish up our drill – our final attempt. We were determined to do well in the Drill Competition, regardless how stressed we would have to face the moment we would step into the Drill Competition Ground. We trained really hard over the two short days, carrying out Parade Duties as usual. We thanked God that we managed to run through the whole drill sequence in detail with the help of our Drill Commander, LCpl. Nicholas Ng (now a Corporal). Accompanied by our Officers, we practiced on our own as our drill instructor couldn't make it. We practiced as much as we could, making the best out of the remaining hours we had until even the day of the competition itself. We took our rest in the evening before we started polishing our uniform parts in the night.
After our final practice the next morning, we walked to SMK La Selle, Sentul which was nearby to our school. After registering, we went to our assigned class which was together with 10th Kuala Lumpur Company. Our hearts were racing as it dawned to us that all our practice has come to this, to compete in the State Level Drill Competition. After the Opening Parade, we gathered for the uniform inspection before we were given the next instruction. We watched as one by one team of the various Companies that would be competing, going through the drill sequence.
When it was our turn to compete, our adrenaline was rushing. Under the command of LCpl. Nicholas Ng, we went through the entire drill sequence. Although there were some hiccups here and there, we had given it all out best. We were really satisfied and happy that we had finished the drill sequence. The dream of our company has been accomplished! The entire Officers’ encouragement and our own practice have all been worth it. We were overjoyed! Happily, we went back to our assigned classes and waited as the results were processed. Throughout this time, we took many group pictures to commemorate our achievement as 12th Kuala Lumpur has for the first time, managed to send a Drill Team to compete in the KL State Drill Competition! All of us were overjoyed!
When all of us were called for the Closing Parade, we didn't have much expectation as the results were announced. It is our first time competing in the Drill Competition anyway. It was announced that 3rd Kuala Lumpur got 1st Place, followed by 4th Kuala Lumpur and then 10th Kuala Lumpur. After the event ended, all of us left and returned home with a sense of accomplishment. We all agreed that though we did not win, the fact that we were able to compete on the Drill Ground for the first time was the greatest achievement we could get this year.
From this competition, we had gained lots of invaluable experience. From a team that wasn’t even capable of perfecting our basic drill, we had become good enough to compete in the KL State Drill Competition! With enough encouragement and determination, anything is possible. Our goal now is to advance our Drill Standards to even greater heights for the next KL State Drill Competition in 2016!