Thursday, July 10, 2008

Team Contact Sabah Tour

It was a privillage for members of Team Contact to be be able to take a Floorball Tour to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from the 3-9 July. The team that went to KK consisted of a total of 16 players; 7 players from FireAnts2008, 7 from the Bullets2008, together with Sam Yeoh (also known as Uncle Sam) and Lin Ken who were also with the team to contribute to the referee and goalkeeper clinics.

A welcome note at Century Hotel.

Day 1: Thusday 3 July
The team went to KK in 3 batches with Edward going in first on 1 July not for floorball but to take his Open Water Dive Certification. Penny, Kenny, Sam and Linken arrived on the 3rd and it was then that the floorball sessions began. The first session focused on individual skills. For the players, greater emphasis was on passes and shots while there were also some time devoted to dribbling and spinoffs. Goal keepers were also given personal attention in the areas of movement and positioning. As usual, after a time of personal skill development, we got ourselves into groups for a time of fun and games.

Day 2: Friday 4 July
It was this day that the fun really began, as the bulk of the team arrived. It was a rather hectic first day for most of the team as they arrived in the afternoon, went straight for lunch, and then to a friendly game with Team Reloaded. Edward was still under the sea for the final day of his course and joined us immediately after his certification.

All ready for some fun just outside the hall in Shan Tao.

The game was held in Shan Tao, the home ground of Team Reloaded which housed 4 badminton courts. Team Contact started off with our usual sluggish play which did not really pick up at all throughout the day. Everyone was just tired and trying too had to perform in a new environment. Team Contact still managed to beat Team Reloaded 7-5, and after that game we decided to relax a bit more, not stress ourselves to perform, and have more fun while playing.

Group photo together with Team Reloaded.

Day 2 did not end there but after a quick shower, we were rushed to D'Stream for the Referee's Clinic. James being the IFF certified referee conducted the course. It was also good for the team as many in the team were not exposed to what is required of referees. The participants also got a drilling on the rules of the game. Althought it was somewhat rushed, most of the material was covered and the participants were challenged to practice what they had heard in the coming days.

"The referee is the BOSS!"

Edward explaining certain floorball terms as James looks on.

Day 3: Saturday 5 July
The day began early again for us as we headed off for breakfast and then walked to the Jesselton Jetty to catch a boat to Manukan Island. It was a free and easy morning but more importantly it was a time for the team to gel together and have fun. And there was certainly lots of fun as true colours off the court came flourishing forward. Although we started off with the intent to have fun snorkling, it did not end up as the main thing as there were other areas that got us talking and we got to know each better.We headed back just before lunch and took a quick stroll at the Philippino Market for those who wanted to get some suveniors.

Fun and the sun in Manukan Island.

Looking hot...

Looking cool...

After a quick lunch it was floorball clinic time again. This time the clinic was firstly focused on the movement of referees. This was a continuation of the course conducted the previous day. While Team Contact came up with mock situations on court, the referees were "tested" on their movement and decision making. The session took about an hour before we moved on to the players. We then conducted a session on team tactics. As time was not on our side, we only focused a little on movement and then taught on taking free hits. We also took the opportunity to show the KK players the FireAnts set piece so that they could take some ideas from that and develop something original for themselves.

Team Contact and the Nomads.

"Floorball non-stop" as one of our players put it. We were at SM All Saints, the homeground of Team Nomads for a friendly game at night. We started off by demonstrating to them our warm up drills and then the games began. Team Nomads had both their teams combine together, the All Saints and Ravens each taking one line. The All Saints lineup played well and were very quick. Much potential there. It was a very good and enjoyable game I believe to both parties concerned. After a game of 2 periods, the score ended with a score of 6-3 to Team Contact.

Day 4: Sunday 6 July
The day began with the team going to church in the morning. Edward went to BCCM Rainfield while the rest of the team went to D'Stream. After the service we went back to the hotel for a quick change before going for lunch and thereafter to Shan Tao for friendly games with all the KK teams. There were 5 teams present including Team Contact and games were played in a round robin. By this time, the focus was on trainig the referees and enjoying ourselves in the game. As such, FireAnts sat out most of the time to allow the Bullets to have more playtime and training. The highlight of the friendly matches was definately Kai Sheng scoring his very first goal and I think that earned himself a meal at KFC! It was great fun and all enjoyed themselves on court as well as off court with lots of laughter.

Referees getting a briefing after each game.

The ones that made us laugh most of the time (esp. the two on the far right ;))

Debrief after the friendly games.

The night was filled with more laughter, fun, and fellowship as the team was hosted by D'Stream leadership for a nice buffet dinner. Yummy! After the dinner we had a brief team meeting and debrief of the trip as majority of the team were to leave early in the morning.

Makan and relax with the Team Nomad leaders.

Day 5: Monday 7 July
A super early morning as the whole team got up and gathered by 5.15am to send part of the team back to Penang. "Goodbye" and "see you at the next training..." seemed to be the common phrase that morning and soon after we sent the team off, the rest of us went back to bed. Zzzz...
A slow morning after that as we went to the mamak stall for breakfast and after that to the shopping mall. The 7 of us who stayed back ended up watching "Hancock" in the cineplex. Talk about relax...

The night was not as relaxed as we had a clinic for coaches. The clinic started off in an area which the Referees Clinic did not have time to cover and that was in the area of the Secretariat. After about 45 minutes covering the how to's and the job functions of a secretariat, we moved on to the how to of coaching teams. Drills, positioning, defence, attack we just some of the things covered but once again time was not on our side as there was just too much to cover in one session. Well, I guess the KK folks will just have to invite us back again to continue... ;)

"Go here, run there, zoom over there..."

Day 6: Tuesday 8 July
Late nights and early mornings was something that we really had to get used to in this trip. 5.15am again... this time to send Sophia and Kai Sheng to the airport and it seemed almost routined already as we went to bed after that and woke up again for breakfast. No movie today but instead we had lunch meetings and fellowships with different people. A quick rest after lunch, a short time of planning and discussion pertaining PFA matters and off to our final clinic in KK. This time it was with Team D'Gap. Basic skills and one final session just playing and having fun together. And after everything was done, over to the famous Damai for supper. The Lamb Chops were super! ;)

Day 7: Wednesday 9 July
Yes! Another day that began at 5.15am, but it is here that we said our final goodbyes and thanks. This trip was not only a learning process for the whole team as there were many things that we took back, but it was also one that was filled with fun and excitement. Getting to know floorballers from a different state also created a bond that we believe will go a long way.
Just a few minutes after checking in, the anouncement came up that the flight will be delayed by half and hour. Well, not something that we wanted to hear as all were eager to get back and make up for the sleep that we lost the whole week. We however have to admit that Airasia did good this time as we arrived 10 minutes before the orginal scheduled time even after the delay!
Thanks again to the Nomads for hosting us. And thanks to all the floorballers in KK that made this trip worthwhile.

A momento presented by Penny, our team captain to Team Nomads for hosting us.

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