Asia Pacific Activities Conference (APAC) is an annual tournament held among international schools in the Asian Pacific region. Among the tournaments, one of the most competitive is swimming. Usually, APAC has six schools competing due to the numerous international schools in the region. However, APAC swimming tournaments consist 12 schools competing; therefore this raises the competition and also increases the energy and excitement among the schools and athletes.
In my freshman year, I was privileged to participate in APAC swimming and again, in this, my sophomore year from January 27 to January 31 in Hong Kong. Through my experience at APAC, not only did I learn a lot about swimming, but was also able to experience the excitement that comes with winning and losing races.
For example, as a swimmer, I am part of a swim team. As a member of the swim team, I quickly begin to understand the other swimmers in a way that only being on the swim team would allow. I would understand the work ethic each swimmer has and how each swimmer would react the certain things. Whenever I went to practice, I knew what to expect and whom I would meet. I would always look forward to spending time with the swim team inside or outside of the pool. This is because I had formed an unbreakable bond with the people on the team that continues to grow when I go to competitions like APAC. Travelling to other international schools with my swim team has proven to help make the bond grow stronger.
Going to APAC most certainly helped strengthen my bond with the swim team. APAC is a 5 day event and swimming 3 days out of the 5 helped me learn about swimming and what it means to be part of a team. In my freshman year, I was impressed by the team spirit from the other schools and the motivation that drove all the athletes to compete. Before I could embrace all the energy, I found myself on the starting block preparing to dive for my first race. Until this point, I couldn’t understand how all the athletes managed to stay excited and energetic for the whole competition, but during my first race, I was able to understand how. When I came up from my dive, I found myself head-to-head with a swimmer in the lane next to me. With my teammates cheering me on, I found the energy to finish strong and win my race. I understood. Teammates pushing me to my limits gave me emotions I have never experienced before. Whether I won or lost, I always had my team there to celebrate and be comfortable with. Everyone swam about 5 races and each race I was cheered on by my teammates. Large tournaments such as APAC help me experience how supportive a team can be and helps me build a stronger relationship.
APAC may seem like a mere activities conference and tournament with 12 teams coming together to compete and enhance their skills. However, I can confidently say that those who attend APAC can easily agree that it is much more. There is an overwhelming amount of spirit and energy that can be found in one team and when 12 teams come together, that is what APAC is truly about.
Seoul Foreign School
Joseph Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
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