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Being a Panther at the Dulwich Olympiad

Dulwich Olympiad 2019

Seventy-three students and twelve staff from Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong headed to London for participating the Dulwich Olympiad from 23 to 30 March 2019. Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong is very proud to have Art, Music, Drama, and Sport students and their teachers embarking on this epic journey.

What does it mean to be a Panther? To be a Panther means how Dulwich Pudong students support each other in the classroom, on the field, and the stage. It is about taking responsibility, being resilient and adaptable, and having high expectations of each other and ourselves. It is also about being aware of where you are, following instructions, and taking care of each other.

As the students and staff disembarked in London, the school spirit was evident. Cheers of “Let’s go, Panthers!” echoed around the Dulwich College in London, louder even than the cheering from the home team. The "Go Panthers" slogan set the tone for the whole trip, as the cheers were the loudest among the 11 participating Dulwich Colleges whether Dulwich Pudong students were on stage, in a classroom, or on the field.

Reflections
 

Doing Drama in the Olympiad was a new experience for me, as I have not done any trips for Drama before. Before going on the Olympiad, I was nervous to perform and work with new people in a play as complex as Dr Faustus.  
 
When we got to London, I became more comfortable and open to new things and ideas for our performance after meeting the people I would be working with. The people were very friendly and enthusiastic; they made the experience even better. I learnt that I had to stick to what I was told and be flexible with changing anything for a better outcome. 
 
I am very grateful for the people I met for teaching me how to be more comfortable and confident with my progress, which made the final performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall much better than I think anyone expected it to be. I am also very grateful for the teachers that took care of us and supported us on the trip as they all made it better. 

Emma – Drama (Year 12) 

 

The Olympiad was an unforgettable trip. Not only were we able to enjoy a week of Art, Music, Sport, and Drama, we also had the privilege to go to Dulwich College London and celebrate its 400thanniversary. Across the 10-day trip, we had the chance to explore London and admire the stunning architecture and art, both within museums and in the street. We were also able to connect with like-minded students from DCSPD and other Dulwich campuses, and, ultimately, build long-lasting friendships. 
 
However, the best part of the whole trip was definitely the art workshop. Across the few days, we used a diversity of different materials, surfaces, textiles, and styles, and even had the opportunity to draw from a live model! It has inspired me to create more artwork, try new techniques, and step out of my comfort zone more in class. 
 
Altogether, the Dulwich Olympiad was an amazing experience and is one that I will never forget.
 
Midori – Art (Year 10) 

 

The Olympiad gave me the chance to visit Dulwich London and to reconnect with friends from other schools, as well as allowing me to make many more great friends. The thing I enjoyed most was visiting the Olympic Park and being able to compete there, as this is where the Olympics took place where great athletes competed. The Olympiad was definitely one of the most memorable sports trips I have been on, as it gave me the chance to make new friends, compete with other schools, and just being able to discover London for the first time. 
 
Jean-Philippe – Sport (Year 10) 

 

When I got to Dulwich College in London, I thought it was remarkable that I was in such a special place. On Monday, we started with the Sport programme and we also had the Opening Ceremony. We first did touch rugby. It was not a real match that would count for points; instead, we were teamed up with people from other schools. I think it was a good idea for meeting new people, as I made two new friends and it was really fun.
 
On Wednesday, we had football and badminton. This day was the one I was most looking forward to, and also the one I most enjoyed because we did team sports. For badminton doubles, I got a really amazing player who had also won the U15 league. Thanks to her, we won and got a gold medal for the U13s league. This was one of the best weeks of my life.

Josefina – Sport (Year 7)
 

As a musician, I have visited many theatres, performing or watching many concerts in great hallowed halls. But none of these prepared me for what I encountered at Queen Elizabeth Hall. The stage itself was spacious and had light wooden panels that covered the floor. Endless rows of seats filled the room and continued to build their way up like a giant wave, ready to come rushing down. 
 
Best of all was when we performed. Unlike the rehearsal space back at school, each individual sound and note was amplified through the theatre. So, when we performed our pieces, the theatre sang with us, egging us on to play with life and emotion, and as a result, audience members at the back could hear the strands of melody and harmony woven and intertwined just as well as the audience at the front. 
 
Olympiad brought many opportunities for me, but performing at Queen Elizabeth Hall was a truly enjoyable experience, because not only did we perform, the theatre performed too.

Mango – Music (Year 9)

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The Swimming competition took place in the Aquatics Centre, where amazing swimmers such as Michael Phelps competed in the 2012 Olympics. When we weren’t swimming, we had time to talk to girls from the other Dulwich Colleges and from JAGS and make some new friends. This became a fun four hours of making friends and engaging in some friendly competition in a sport we are all passionate about. 
 
I was also able to participate in Drama during the time I wasn’t swimming, giving me the opportunity to engage in two activities I enjoy and meet many new people. The chance to perform in Queen Elizabeth Hall, with a professional theatre set up, was a lot of fun and let me experience how more professional productions are run. 
 
Though I won’t have the chance to participate the next Olympiad, I would strongly encourage anyone to take the opportunity, as it was a week filled with fun, meeting new people, and exploring a foreign city. 
 
Lily –Drama & Swimming (Year 12) 

 

During the trip, I met quite a few talented people from the other colleges and got closer to some students from DCS as well. I’ve been to lots of other music events over the years (like DFM), but I never got the chance to meet these people. I am grateful to the Olympiad for finally bringing us together. 
 
As I stayed behind for another week in London after the event, I had the opportunity to go around areas of London with new friends I met at DC. I got to visit more local areas of London and see the differences from Shanghai. Overall, it was a very fun trip! 
 
Aegean – Music (Year 10)

 

The first of my two favourite experiences was spending Evensong with the Dulwich London chapel choir. It was a magical experience, listening to the London boys singing and being spirited away by the acoustics of the pipe organ. 
 
The second was our workshop with the London Gospel Choir. It was inspirational how they managed to get all of us on our feet even though we were all very jetlagged, motivating us to sing and dance along with them. I’d never heard gospel music before, and it definitely opened a new path of choir music for me.
 
Christina – Music (Year 9)

 

When we arrived at Dulwich College London, I was astonished at how large the school was. It was more than twice the size of our school and built with tawny brown and beige coloured bricks. Even though Dulwich London was built 400 years ago, the building looks new in an old-fashioned way. The grand gates of the school opened up for the bus to pass. The field was huge compared to the size of our field!
 
We were split into groups and three Dulwich London students showed us around the whole campus. They were all really welcoming and nice. In the middle of the tour of the College, we went into the main building of the College to listen to the principal’s opening speech. All over the walls were the names of Dulwich London students who had earned a scholarship to university throughout the school’s 400 years of history. The design idea was wonderful because it shows how much Dulwich London respects their students. 
                                                      
We then ate lunch in the school’s cafeteria. Even though lunchtime is normally a time to relax and play around a bit, this time everyone went in an orderly fashion to get lunch. Although the cafeteria was quite small and there were a lot of starving Dulwich Olympians, it didn’t seem to be crowded. The food served was tasty and there were a lot of different dessert options to choose from.
 
After the tour around Dulwich London, we had a lot of time before we had to meet back together. One of the students suggested that we should play Four Square. Four Square is a fun traditional game where you have to bounce a ball to another person’s square to fight for the champion square. It was fun, even though it was quite hard. 
 
Overall, the experience was really fun and interesting. Even though Dulwich London is so different from Dulwich Shanghai, I still felt like they were part of our family.

Agnes – Sport (Year 9)

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Arriving at the College 
 
My first day at Dulwich College London, the first thought that came to my mind was Wow, this school is amazing. The architecture of the building and the atmosphere that it had were amazing. It actually made me really proud to be from a Dulwich school and to be part of the Dulwich community, as I was actually on our home ground and this was where all the other Dulwich's had originated from. Having the opportunity to come to London and to compete with Dulwich Shanghai was such an honour. 
 
We had a tug-of-war match between all the different schools. The teachers from each school had to select 16 different students to represent their own school in the match. The tug-of-war match was really fun to watch, especially when Dulwich Shanghai was on. The remaining students who weren’t selected stood by the sidelines and cheered for our school. Although there were only 16 people in the match itself, it felt like the entire Shanghai team was on that field. We stood united as one and fought hard as Panthers.
 
After the match, we went to the canteen to have our dinner. Everyone lined up and chose what they would like to have for dinner. The dinner table was filled with laughter and new friendships, as students from different years started to spark conversations and get to know each other better.
 
This whole experience at Dulwich College London was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it was extra special as we were celebrating 400 years. We all came on this trip for Sport, Art, Drama, and Music, but in my opinion, even after winning at the sports events, I feel like the biggest prize I took away was the new friendships, experience, and memories that were made—not only on the first day at Dulwich College London, but the entire time we were at the Olympiad. 
 
Sarah – Sport (Year 9) 

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A day as an Olympian

I woke up at 7am to the alarm beeping. I got up and put on my clothes on for soccer, then looked out over the amazing view of Tower Bridge. After that, I packed my bag for the day, with my blue-badged Olympiad coat, drink bottle, boots, shin pads, and goalkeeper kit. Then I went down to the dining room. I saw so many unfamiliar faces from all over the world. There were 600 students staying at the hotel, and over the week, some of them would become more familiar! 
 
We went to the soccer pitch to play soccer with the U19 squad. I put on my soccer shoes, shin pads, goalkeeper shirt, and goalkeeper gloves. We warmed up for a game against Dulwich Zhuhai, where I was starting goalkeeper, and we ended up winning that game by a whopping four goals. Our next few games we won as well. Then we were against Dulwich London A, the best team in the tournament. We lost to them, but we played a good game, and we were proud of our attitude and sportsmanship. Our final game for U19s was against Dulwich Singapore for 3rdand 4thplayoffs. I managed to make a great save, but then a few minutes later, a Singapore player scored a goal, causing a 1-0 final score. 
 
We ate our lunch really quickly so we could prepare for the U15 tournament. We played Dulwich Suzhou first, where we managed to score a goal and win the game. After that, we won 3rdplace in the 3rdand 4thplayoffs against Dulwich Singapore. In the end, we got the 3rdplace medal, with Dulwich London A coming 1stand Dulwich London B coming 2nd.
 
The Dulwich Olympiad was a once in a lifetime opportunity to go see a lot of cool London landmarks and also to play the sports we love against different Dulwich schools from all around the world.
 
Jordan – Sport (Year 9)

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Thank you 

We were lucky enough to visit Dulwich London for the 2019 Olympiad. Jess and I went for Drama and Music, but Sport and Art were also celebrated during our week away. 
 
We had an amazing week, with memories we will never forget and lots of new friends, though that’s not to say everything ran smoothly. It was extremely busy and situations beyond our control meant the teachers had to make last-minute changes to daily schedules, from a bridge closure on our arrival to protests and evacuations on the last day. We were tired from a busy week, so we can only imagine what the teachers must have felt like, but it was so great that somehow they would always find the energy to keep themselves and us going. 
 
The trip certainly wouldn’t have been as much of a success without all of the teachers’ work and support, and we would just like to say ‘thank you’ on behalf of all the students who went.
 
Thank you for giving us all a week to remember!
 
Fran and Jess – Drama and Music (Year 11)