Extracurricular activities Main Headline

IFT clubs bank on event co-hosting to expand activity calendar

In early April, the IFT Chamber Music Club and the Culinary Arts Club combined to organise a weekend outdoor concert coupled with an afternoon tea buffet

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

A buzzword among specialist-interest clubs at IFT is “collaboration”. Some clubs are organising new, hybrid, events, in a bid to expand the scope of activities available to their respective members.

In early April, the IFT Chamber Music Club and the Culinary Arts Club combined to organise a weekend outdoor concert coupled with an afternoon tea buffet. The event – open to the public – took place at the outdoor theatre at the IFT Mong-Há Campus.

“I would like to have more events like this in the future, collaborating with other clubs,” says IFT Lecturer Ms. Hilda Fok. She was the driving force behind the establishment of the IFT Chamber Music Club in 2014.

The club already has another partnership scheduled for later this year. In August, it will put on a musical drama in collaboration with the IFT’s Drama Club. The production will be staged at the city’s most prestigious performance venue, the Macao Cultural Centre. “We are going to present a drama that encourages self-confidence in young people and teenagers,” Ms. Fok says.

The production will be ground breaking for the IFT Chamber Music Club in 2 respects: it will be the first time it has collaborated with the Drama Club, and it will mark its debut at the Cultural Centre.

Ms. Fok says collaboration with other clubs at IFT “definitely works”. She says it enables the cooperating parties to expand the scope of events each can offer, and also enables them to reach more people within the IFT community and beyond.

IFT Chamber Music Club member Joyce Fong agrees. “By hosting more events like this, people can learn more about each club,” she says.

Joyce is a Year 1 student in the Tourism Event Management bachelor degree programme at IFT. She also plays violin. The April event between the Chamber Music Club and the Culinary Arts Club marked her first public performance undertaken with the former.

“It was a new experience for me to play in such an informal environment, performing other genres rather than just classical music,” she says.

Joyce joined the Chamber Music Club because she wanted to develop her music skills. “I played in my secondary school’s orchestra for several years and I wanted to continue playing.”

She says membership of the club has helped her to meet new people and interact with different organisations. “It is really a good experience, because my main purpose in studying Tourism Event Management is to use those skills to stay connected to music by managing concerts or other music-related events,” Joyce adds.

She acknowledges that finding the balance between practising music and undertaking coursework at IFT can sometimes be challenging. But Joyce highlights the fact that club activities are an important way to divert her mind from schoolwork. “As a student, it is important to find a balance between academic work and your personal interests,” she says.

Broadening horizons 

Joining a club is an easy way for students to get more out of their time at IFT, regardless of whether they hope to make new friends, try something new or keep up with personal interests. Specialist-interest clubs allow students to pursue a wide range of activities – from sports to community-based voluntary work – outside the classroom.

The Institute’s management encourages students to get involved in extracurricular activities. The goal is that undergraduates can expand their horizons and meet new people, enriching the experience of academic life at IFT.

The President of the Culinary Arts Club, Neville Choi, says the group has been partnering with other clubs at the Institute, usually by providing catering for their events.

“We want to introduce culinary arts to students from other programmes and also to the general public,” says Neville, a Year 2 student in the Culinary Arts Management bachelor degree programme.

He says taking part in activities such as the afternoon tea and concert event in early April allows Culinary Arts Club members to learn how to prepare and serve large quantities of food, helping to sharpen their management skills.

Club Secretary Momoko Leong says the group is now planning to host – during the current semester – culinary workshops targeting other students at IFT.

Momoko explains the club also wants to organise a greater number of outreach activities. In December 2018, it held its first, involving club members visiting a local home for the elderly: they brought with them sweet soups and traditional Chinese pastries – but with low sugar content – for the residents. Club members also organised games and gave performances, additionally arranging for gifts to be handed out to the senior citizens.

Momoko says that – although many members of the IFT Culinary Arts Club are on the Culinary Arts Management bachelor degree programme – club activities are very different from course projects.

“It is more challenging: nobody is going to tell you what to do,” she says. “We have to design everything: during practicum, we just follow what the instructor says,” she explains.

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