All-boys secondary school decides to arbitrarily phase out iconic rugby CCA in spite of vehement protests

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A local all-boys school, Montfort Secondary School, announced on Facebook earlier this morning that it will be phasing out the rugby CCA in the school shortly. In a statement to students, parents and alumni, the school’s management committee announced:

STATEMENT FROM MONTFORT SCHOOL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE ON THE PHASING OUT OF RUGBY AS A CCA IN MONTFORT SECONDARY…

Posted by Montfort Secondary School on Monday, 13 November 2017

The parents of students at Montfort who responded to the post, reacted with vehement objection. Calling for Montfort to reveal why it had chosen to phase out the CCA, in the interest of transparency, parents also circulated an online petition calling on Montfort to reconsider the decision.

The petition which targets a total of 2,500 signatories has garnered more than 1,900 signatures already. The petitioners write:

“A final decision was made by the school to phase out Rugby in Montfort in 2019. Though we wished for more clarity why the decision was made, we can only petition for the school to reconsider the decision based on the love of the sport and the long history of this sport in the school. With the little space of negotiation and support from school, we could only ask for a voice from this platform. We understand that the school is concern about injury and had provided alternative solution of asking players to join rugby as an external CCA. It will still not address the injury issue. As old boys of the school and rugby players, many will agree that we grew up fine with some bumps and knocks during sports.
“Montfort Secondary School has a history of 101 years, with Rugby being in its roots for 18 years now since the year 2000.
“Since then Montfort Rugby had made numerous achievements, not as a top elite school, but a known and respectable school that has achieved respectably through the sport. Achieving Top 6 in national ranking at its best, and on an average of Top 10 National ranking team in Singapore. Today, Montfort Rugby has produce numerous players that had and are still representing the Country through various national age group teams and the Singapore National Rugby Team. With the likes of current Singapore Rugby Captain Gaspar Tan, ex-national players Goh Beng Chuan, Keith Arriola, Benjamin Fong, Jeremy Chan, Commonwealth Youth Games (Rugby Sevens) representation Muhd Asyraff, and many other well-known players that are currently still much involved with the sport, like, Low Feng Hua, Ronald Cher, Daniel Ng, Ivan Tan, Marcus Ng, and many more.
“Please help us to #KeepMontfortRugby”

Netizens voiced their disappointment with the school’s arbitrary decision and urged the school to reverse the move by spreading the #KeepMontfortRugby hashtag online:

Andrew Fong: Your statement basically reads as we’ve made our decision, you don’t have a choice but to accept it. It is not worth the data taken to download this piece.

A good statement would have explained the reasons that led to your, in my opinion, a rather poor and bad decision to remove rugby as a CCA.

I coached rugby at Montfort back in 2001 and have seen how the boys have developed and matured thanks to rugby. Without rugby, I am very sure that they would have led very different lives. Rugby has helped boys who were in the Technical stream break out of the mindset and stigma and gone on to further their studies. It has given them a direction which just was not there.

Cindy Gui: Throughout the entire period, my husband and I have never once been officially informed by the school of the decision to shut Rugby. Our child is not just a statistics in your school, he is a living person with a dream you are telling him to stop pursuing. As educators, you are obliged to explain your decision that has no doubt affected so many people.

Joseph Ong: Dear Members of SMC, Rugby should be kept as a CCA, especially in an ALL boys’ school like Montfort. Boys need to develop that physicality, and sports like rugby in Montfort are ideal for that.

I strongly believe that rugby can balance a boy’s inner aggressiveness in a sport way, to grow teamwork & discipline, perseverance & determination, and hone their safety mindedness when the ‘going gets tough’. In essence, Rugby prepares our boys for real challenges ahead, including ‘tougher time’ during NS when ‘the going gets tough’ during training. 

Unless MOE governs that Rugby should phase-off in all schools in Singapore, members of SMC should seriously reflect on the real reason for closing Rugby, and whether these reasons are valid moving forward with the masses and need for transparencies. 

Seriously, there is such strong support for Rugby by Montfort’s coaches, students and parents, including the Alumni. We are passionate, and you have labeled us as fervant

Have you seen the FB Petition that is ongoing to keep rugby in Montfort?

Do what is right. Not what is easy.

Keep Rugby in Montfort.

Elmie Ismail: Why is montfort rugby is important? Through out the years montfort has a good reputation in all neighbourhood school, periodly.

I played 4 years in montfort 2001 to 2004. I had a hell good awesome time besides sitting in class and study. I used to be a bad boy in school, skipping lessons, smoking, fighting.

What rugby did was change my live. Have a good supporters, team mates, principle( MR SIMON), which always keeps me busy with training after school so i wont get into trouble and mixing with the wrong people. Maybe some of the players are just stubborn but having rugby might save them from trouble sfter school and chase their dreams to be a professional rugby player that came from MONTFORT SEC. I hope the school will not close down this rugby cca and continue supporting the players.

Kenshin Seah: A scholar, sportsman, gentleman and a leader. These were the values that we were taught since we stepped foot in Montfort. Montfortians have always been taught the value of respect and integrity and were always told to lead by example. We were told not to give up and that if we tried our best, we would ultimately succeed. 

But how can we become the sportsmen and leaders that we are expected to be if we have no support from our school and a hypocritical principal who does the opposite of what he says. 

‘Be proud that you are a montfortian’ 
‘Hold the schools name high’ 

I remember the countless number of times that I’ve heard these sentences out of Mr.Minjoots mouth. All montfort students from my batch will remember when he did the ‘everywhere we go’ cheer in the school hall. He wants us to be proud of Montfort but does exactly the opposite by shutting down a sport that has a long history of accomplishments and memories without proper explanations.

How can we be proud of a school that gives up on students’ aspirations and for all you know , Montfort could nurture future national players that would make Singapore proud! 

I used to be proud of being a Montfortian and I am still grateful for the numerous opportunities and life lessons that montfort has taught me, but after hearing the poor handling of the entire situation and having no explanations of exactly why Montfort Rugby is being shut down, I am utterly disappointed and am not proud to call my home.

Vincent Koh 빈센트: To the Principal of Montfort and school committee members.

Firstly, please show more transparency towards the discussion of phasing out Rugby in Montfort and making sure that the school have very good reason for it. To prevent students from getting injury is totally not good enough cause in all sports injury tends to happen even badminton, softball and more(injury also happen to those that don’t play sports).. 

Secondly, as a parents of the students have the rights to be informed regarding this and the school & committee failed to do so and it shows poor handling which is a very basic thing.. if the school & committee can’t do the basic right basically shows that you guys can not competent enough to run a school like Montfort. I suggest that you guys should have more understanding of Montfort history and look into how other run the school example Mr Simon and many more.

Thirdly, I strongly agreed with what Mr Joseph Ong comments below. I personally believe that you are killing of the passion of the students. Even the school & committee successfully phased out rugby I’m sure at the same time you will lose the trust and respect from the students, parents, Alumni and many outsiders. Moreover do you think the old boys of Montfort would send their kids to Montfort? The answer will be “very unlikely”. We hold the name of Montfort high and shine not keeping it in the dark.

Lastly, by now everyone should be clear of the school motto “Age Quod Agis” and for those that are unsure it means “Do well in whatever you Do” and it’s not “Do whatever you like to do”. Since rugby is doing good we should make it better and not ending it. I wonder does the school & committee aware of this if you are doing it right there shouldn’t be so much of objection towards it so I guess the school is think about it again. Well, I think I said enough I can bring the cow to the lake but I can force the cow to drink.

To the school and committee please think about it again!

Correct me if I’m wrong.

Marvyn Tan: Really? Y’all the management committee and you think a post like this would be well received or tolerated? You guys need some education. Get your shit sorted out.

Your statement made things worse for yourself. The least y’all can do is to explain why so that this shit is settled for yourself and for all of us. Don’t you want this matter to go away? Make us understand.

Shawn Ng: Not a Montfortian, but.. hmmm clearly this move isn’t aligned with the school’s motto.  I’ve Played against Montfort during my days ,and they produced many outstanding / amazing players. Definitely a bad move to close rugby, in fact a horrible one by shutting it down without proper explanation.

Lai Kah Weng: At least have the decency to explain the reasons for your action. Everyone wants to know why – alumni, parents, teachers and rugby supporters like me. Kindly share your reasons.

Nageshwaran Muthusamy: What happen to the Montfort i went to, from always boasting about our CCA achievements whether from Sports, UG or Performing Arts and encouraging and developing to the next level to phasing out without giving a reason

Chris Dyson: Sad to see this has come about. Singapore has the potential to become a power house in Asia but poor decisions like this will only hamper those efforts. Was a provalage to have coached some great blokes there. #montfordrush

Timothy Todd Âû: I am not a Montfort old boy but for the growth of rugby one fewer team is too much to bear. I am tired of rugby being restricted to only the likes of ACS, SA and RI.

Christopher Neo Chow Wei: If injury is really the main concern for closing down the school.
That would not be a valid argument at all?? Which sport does not have injuries of their own to manage? NONE. So why rugby? Especially when it has come a long way since year 2000. Injuries have come and gone but rugby was still alive in the boys hearts.

Let us also question the support the school has provided for rugby over recent years. Not a single friendly match was planned for the players before their tournament?

Now who is to blame for the injuries and results then? when they were not even given enough exposure to fully say that they did their best. The school is denying the students an opportunity to let them excel in the sport that they have so much passion for.

As a rugby player in Montfort myself, i am extremely disappointed to hear this news. The school that gave me so much through rugby are now denying the same opportunity to be given to the students now.

Please do reconsider this decision, whoever is in charge.

Isaac Andrew: Montfort Rugby has been a staple in Montfort for 18 years now and the new principal wants to shut it down and that shouldn’t be the case as I have made many fond memories with Montfort rugby and the juniors that come into Montfort should at least get to experience the friendships made during training, great memories forged during trainings when everyone spills out their blood, sweat and dedication it takes to play this gentleman sport. Also rugby in Montfort plays a big part in teaching me the values that Montfort so proudly cherishes. For example to be a sportsman hence the game of rugby so that we can excel in the sport. Also to be a scholar as Montfort rugby teaches one the values of determination, perseverance and dedication that is required to excel in studies. It also teaches use to be a gentleman as when we play rugby it teaches the values of respect for other players on the field which helps us build on character.

Carlos GervasioIt’s quite evident that there’s a lack of transparency when this decision was made. It’s very clear that there are much more people who are NOT in favour of this decision. Both Alumni & Parents have been demanding for valid reasons of to why the school has closed down Montfort Rugby. To my knowledge no form of discussion was made either. A school of Montfort’s stature and history should NOT be handling things this way

Gerrard Tan: Aiya. If everyone is not happy. Just go MOM. Ask them why. By asking at social media , it won’t help. Just make the matter bigger. Last time montfort was run by mr Lourds, he support all kind of sports but after he went off, monfort became a school that is just study study and study. To the new principles, sports are like a useless shit. By the way i was from montfort last time and sports help me alot with my life.

Joyce Aeria: We emailed and you replied that you will meet us. However before you can meet the parents and explain or make us understand such a decision, you posted this on your official page. That is inelegant of you SMC, to say the least.

Faith Tay: Please share reasons for closing down for transparency reason- parent of Rugby player

Jonathan Goh: Rugby was one of the highlights of my schooling days in Montfort, Throughout the years I studied in Montfort, the teachers in always told me to do what I love and don’t let others stop me. I was also told that failure is nothing as long as I tried and don’t give up. (I retained in Sec 3) 

I fractured my left arm when I was secondary 2 during a rugby competition. But that injury didn’t affect me in any way except that it made me stronger and more careful on the way I played rugby. 

So if closing down rugby is due to too many injuries, what message are you trying to send to the student? That because of such failure, we should just quit and stop trying to be better? Isn’t it better to teach the student how to be more careful in the future rather than running away from it? Isn’t what learning from our failure means? 

I was taught many life lessons in Rugby, one such thing is being resilient. Montfort Rugby has been known usually as the underdog against other top schools during my time. We were always taught to never give up and never tell ourself that it was impossible to score or win a top school. I will always remind myself about this whenever I face hardship in something or when I feel like giving up. 

I am one of the example of how Rugby has made me into who I am today and how it has changed me into someone better. 

More than 1000 people has signed the petition https://goo.gl/MFbUAB so why are we closing down rugby without proper communication and with such a half-ass clarification from the school. We are always told to be accountable for what we do and be clear whenever we are addressing something? But why aren’t we doing what we preach? 

Aae Chitsanor Chinnakrit: Afterall that happened, I can say that I am a proud Montfort Rugby player but not a proud Montfortian. Please share the reasons on why you are closing down Montfort Rugby. And it better be a valid one.

Sign the Petition to Keep Montfort Rugby at Montfort Secondary School here.

9 COMMENTS

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      How about oestrogen injections in an all boys school instead? If a contact sport raises levels of testosterone unlike any other sport or dormant activity, and in your eyes it directly links to perverted boys who’ll outrage the modesty of teachers, then you might as well petition for all sports to be shut down at once as they breed sexual predators. However comical your response, in a time as such, it isn’t welcomed. Thank you.