Students take record bid lying down
[First published on 17 December, 2011] They’re uncomfortable, they’re too small and they’ve been used at King George V School in Ho Man Tin for 45 years.
But yesterday the school found a novel way of saying farewell to its 1,500 old wooden chairs – by using them in a world record attempt.
They were set out in lines of 50 across the soccer pitch for an assault on the record for simultaneous planking.
The current world’s best for the craze – in which participants imitate awooden plank by lying face down in an unusual location – is 260.
But yesterday, 1,500 students planked for two minutes in an effort to enter the Guinness Book of Records.
School business manager Colleen Melvin said: “We’ve used these same small brown chairs for 45 years. All of our alumni who come back to the school always talk about the chairs.
“The reason they’ve stayed for so long is because as a school the only way we could fit the maximum amount of people in our school hall was to keep these smaller than normal chairs.”
But the powers that be decided that keeping these little chairs was not possible any more.
“They’re uncomfortable – not just for students, but for the parents who sit on them as well.
“We’re now bringing in a more adult-sized chair, though it’s fitting that their last use here will be in a world record bid,” she said.
Melvin said the school wanted to celebrate the history of the chairs they’ve used for nearly half a century and to give them a proper send-off.
But planking can be dangerous, even on a chair.
So Charlie Riding, head of the physical educational department, has spent the past few weeks helping students perfect their technique.
It’s proved to be a good core exercise workout, too.
“Today’s planking was easy,” said 12-year-old Michelle Wong Sze-ching, who is in Year 8. “It was much harder practising for this.”
Independent observers were on hand to make sure that the planking was done properly, because if even 5per cent of those taking part failed to do it correctly the record attempt would not be successful.
The school will find out in the new year if it has broken the world record. But it’s not quite the end of the story for the old chairs.
The school is hoping to send them to kindergartens on the mainland where they can continue to be used.
Melvin said: “Just because they are no good to us any more doesn’t mean someone else can’t make use of them.”