In the teaching profession, learning is not always the focus and is often limited within the four corners of the classroom, but the best learning is experience and learning outside your comfort zone, beyond the classroom, that will help you grow more as an individual or a leader.

Experiencing something great will help you grow more as a leader. I’m very thankful to be part of the group of enthusiastic people who advocate peace in Mindanao and invest on the experience and knowledge to grow more as individuals so that may provide good leadership and good learning for student-athletes who assist for community development.

Singapore is a great country that filled with competent people and world-class institutions. Being a leader in a big school is not only for men but also for women. On the first day of trip, we met a very inspiring beautiful woman, the Deputy Director of Sports and Recreation of National Technological University, Ms. Sheryl Low. She shared how the NTU sports program progressed and how they value having and give value to the sports and recreation program in the institution.

In our second day, I realized the value of research and the continuous learning as a mentor and as a coach. Some of the faculty of the Physical Education and Sports Science (PESS) department shared their knowledge and experience in the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. They were Masato Kawabata, Nick Aplin, Ng Yew Cheo, Chanmin Park and Associate Professor of NIE Govindasamy Balasekaran.  There is one vision of Prof. Balasekaran that caught my attention to Sports and Science and Management, “SSM provides a holistic and unparalleled learning experience that equip students academically with the relevant knowledge as well as inculcating sound moral values.” After a few minutes listening to them, I realized the significance of research and planning for your program or your goal to make it ready and well prepared for everything.  Prof. Balasekaran gave me a message, “Al, nice meeting you. Stay positive and reach for the stars.” His simple words really inspired me.

The 3rd day was also an awesome experience with Mr. Gene Navera of National University of Singapore. He shared the three Cs in leadership: Communication, the Collective, and Context. He also shared his experience being professor in the campus. It was a very meaningful sharing. The trip was very exciting. NUS is a very nice school with competitive students and teachers.

On our 4th day, it was a very lucky moment. We met Ms. Lee Min Li, the Team Manager of the Singapore Sports School’s Netball Team. She toured us around the school and showed us their sports facilities. Coincidentally, the ASEAN University Games 2017 swimming finals was ongoing during our visit. It was my first time to witness a swimming finals of that level.

Last day trip was a day to remember. We went around in the Universal Studios to experience something amazing and wonderful. Conquering my shyness to communicate even without conversation was a starting point to enhance our public speaking engagement.

Being a leader is a big role that needs the right attitude, belief, experience, and good friends.

In our Singapore experience, one thing I will never forget is realizing that in this world, small things are the beginning of big change. Leadership is not for those who are in position, but for those who have a dream and the ambition to create a peaceful and meaningful environment to empower other people to live in a good world.

Coach Al Rashid M. Sendad
Datu Ibrahim Paglas Memorial College