Interview with the Paramount Championship’s Top Committee
Written by Raiyan Salleh, Secondary 3
On 14 August 2020, the virtual broadcast of the annual Paramount Championship (PC) Grand Finale was held at Sri KDU Secondary School by our amazing PC Committee. Due to the recent Movement Control Order imposed to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paramount Championship was postponed several times, and even the idea of whether it would take place was being tossed about. However, with the hard work and perseverance by the PC committee, the spectacular event had been shifted from a live onstage presentation to a virtual presentation. This had seemed to be quite a daunting task at first, but in the end, the event was an absolute success with just some minor technical glitches along the road. This is what the PC 2020 presidents, Rania Hisham (RH) and Jing En (JE), and the teacher advisor, Ms Elizabeth Teh (ET), had to say about the event.
Q: How do you feel about the Paramount Championship this year?
RH: Based on the feedback we’ve received, I feel so proud of how things turned out with the event. It makes me so happy to know that we got through all of it while we were home and we were able to plan everything online.
JE: Honestly, it feels unreal. I am proud of my team for being able to pull this off because everything was so new to us that we didn’t know what to expect and what were the proper procedures to hold a virtual concert. Everything was on a trial and error basis, but I’m glad it worked!
ET: Inspired, awestruck, grateful. Inspired by the skills, effort and passion of my PC 2020 committee, awestruck by how students can display their talent despite going virtual, and grateful that everything happened as we all hoped and prayed. We reaped what we sow and our prayers were answered with a fantastic finale. Everything was worth it.
Q: Were there any hardships during the planning of PC?
RH: With the unexpected turn of events, the implementation of MCO due to the pandemic was the most challenging hardship we all had to go through. We had to start from rock bottom and figure out a new and improved plan to work with the “new norm”.
JE: Definitely. There were so many that I could barely keep count. We had to change our plans multiple times due to the uncertainty about the school's reopening. Other than that, making it a live stream event meant that we had to put in double the effort beforehand to ensure that everything goes on smoothly.
ET: Well for me, it was hard when the event needed help from all the teachers to stay back according to the event schedule to judge the performances. Teachers had to sacrifice and fit their packed schedule accordingly. I am really glad that I got 100% cooperation from them. Not all the students participated at first, but thanks to the help from the Home Room Teachers and Assistant Home Room Teachers, we managed to get almost 100% participation from all classes. The MCO period was the toughest as it was something new for us. We had to cancel almost half of the events, while the remaining ones also required some modification. We needed to relook into the competition methods and how to make everything virtual. As for the virtual Grand Finale, the main question was how to ensure a smooth Livestream to all classes. Thanks to the help of the IS Department, the PC 2020 Team, and Mr Zaid. It was nearly perfect! Thanks to the fun ideas from the PC committee and collaboration with the Secondary 5 students.
Q: As the President for this year's PC, how do you feel?
RH: I feel super elated and proud to be the President of PC this year because I discovered so many hidden talents within my team, many of whom I have known for so long but they never really showed what they had in them. We all stepped out of our comfort zone and tested our ability to 'think outside the box'.
JE: Sometimes, I still cannot grasp the fact that I am the President because it feels as if I am just communicating with a bunch of friends to plan an outing. It makes my heart warm whenever I see the committee working hard or trying their best to solve issues because that’s when I can tell that they’re passionate about the event.
Q: Do you think that all of your hard work has paid off?
RH: Definitely! With how smoothly things went during the event, not only mine but the whole team’s hard work has definitely pulled off! Even when we faced a technical issue, we still found a way to keep people to stay on track.
JE: 100%, hands down. The support from students who attended and dressed up made it all worth it. A lot of peers from other classes sent me photos that they took with their friends and the smiles on their faces brought one to mine too.
Q: Were there any misunderstandings among the committee. If yes, how did you manage to fix it?
RH: It would be a lie if I said that we have always been on the same page. However, I wouldn’t say they were misunderstandings, but more of disagreements and differences in perspective. We managed to sit down and discuss and come to a conclusion on how we can put our ideas to solve the problem, which in my opinion is the most effective way, especially when working in a large group of people.
JE: Not really, since we had open discussions where all of us were allowed to give our own opinions. This helped us widen our perspectives and come to unanimous decisions. Plus, the committee members have mutual respect for one another, so misunderstandings were not an issue that we had to worry about.
Q: Is there any advice that you want to share with next year’s committee?
RH: After SPM, I hope to take on the creative field in fashion but I have always struggled with sharing my opinion because I have always been shy and an introvert. However, being in the PC changed my perspective. To next year’s committee, be confident with your ideas and always speak up when you think something isn’t right. Be creative as much as possible when running the show because your concept and ideas matter most in creating a unique and different show. It’s like sharing a story through an event. I hope this helps!
JE: The advice that I’d say is to stay motivated throughout the entire journey, even when you hit rough patches. You are the ones who will influence the spirit of the rest of the school. Never give up and work hard for what you believe in.
ET: Always give your all, for good things happen to those who work hard for them. Never be afraid to shine, and take the lead whenever you can. Above all, maintain your teamwork and kindness towards each other!
These are what Rania Hisham, Jing En, and Ms Elizabeth had to say about the Paramount Championship event this year. The entire school was extremely jubilant and relieved to see the event turn out an absolute success. This was all thanks to the effort put in by the PC committee, SLT members, teachers, and not to forget, the students. Although the virtual event was wonderfully executed, we hope to see things going back to normal and we can have a live onstage concert again next year.