Admissions Blog

In May this year, the 'Student Steps Challenge' was launched, spearheaded by Paik Kwan Woo from the Class of 2018. We speak with Kwan to find out more about how the challenge came about.

What is the Student Steps Challenge?

Kwan: So the Student Steps Challenge is a competition between the four colleges to see which college can amass the most steps within 8 weeks. The college that has the most steps overall will be awarded with a food party + bragging rights.

All the students were given a Mi Band at the beginning of the competition in May. They then had to key in their weekly steps at the end of each week into a google form. All the results are then collated into a graph that shows live updates. All this was made possible by the tech savvy (wizardry) of Elysia Su at Student Affairs. In addition to the grand prize for the college, we also have some individual prizes (e.g. ‘Most Steps’ each week, ‘Most Improved’, ‘Best Trash Talker’) to further encourage students to take a few extra steps every day.

MI Band

Mi band that each student received

What sparked this idea?

Kwan: I don’t remember the exact details but I ran into Dr Mara (Assistant Dean, Student Affairs) and Jennifer (Director, Student Wellness) one day and we started talking about ways to make the student body healthier and to build school spirit/collegiality. We tossed around a few ideas and then came upon the Steps challenge. We thought it would be great since it doesn’t really require extra work and everyone could participate. At the same time, it would give people a reason to exercise a little more every day. We hoped the competition would manifest in little everyday things like making people use the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or walking to the MRT station instead of taking the bus.

Did you have to get any sponsors?

Kwan: Jennifer has been the main person working on getting sponsors involved. 3M has been very very generous and they've donated two Cardiologist Stethoscopes as individual prizes for the most steps overall. Again, we cannot thank 3M enough, the stethoscopes were something the students really wanted, and their support has really heated up the competition. As for the Mi bands, they were funded by the Student Affairs budget, so students don't have to pay for them.

Are there future plans for this contest?

Kwan: We really hope that this can be a yearly thing. It’s relatively easy to do and I think it has provided the extra push for some people to be a bit more active every day. For example, Ransome College has been going on college runs, and I know many individuals who have decided to walk home on days that they are more free.

A group from Ransome College on their after-school run (contributed by Brian Chan, Class of 2017)

How has the response been?

Kwan: The response has been great!! We averaged around 100 responses per week in the google form. Considering that this is the first year we are doing this competition, it has really exceeded our expectations. I’d like to thank everyone for their support, especially the Year 1s and 2s for their active participation. It was our first time doing this competition so there were some hiccups along the way but everyone has been really nice about it and that helped make the college steps competition a big success.