Fairchild Multi-Purpose Cooperative does the Triathlon-Inspired Team Building

Kung Hei Fat Choi

On the day of the recent Chinese New year, Fairchild Cebu Community Multipurpose Cooperative had a blast louder than firecrackers at the beautiful Solea Hotel and Resort in Cordova, Cebu, Philippines. This cooperative teamed-up with the Cebu Teambuilding Facilitators Network to ensure team building success, and true enough they got more than what they expected.

Challenge Accepted

Backtracking a few weeks earlier, they contacted CTFN for a training proposal, stating their theme as “Sustaining Greatness Momentum,” and posed a challenge on us to give them real challenging activities. Needless to say, we at Cebu Teambuilding accepted. In fact, Team Development Consultant Nathaniel John Arong had been waiting years for an opportunity to implement an activity that was indeed challenging. An activity that conceived in 2012, he calls the Triathlon.

Fairchild Cebu Cooperative Team Building 2017 in Cordova Island Philippines
Business planning and team building for Fairchild Cebu Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative at Solea Resort in Cordova, Cebu, Philippines

Actually a series of activities, the Triathlon is made of three strenuous games knitted into one continuous SLE. It’s simply a new challenge born out of old and worn exercises.

Ball Relay

It is essentially a ball relay game wherein the team is asked to transport the ball from one point to another. Given the vast area and eccentric landscape of Solea Beach Resort, the Traithlon proved to be more exciting than it was imagined.
“The ball is toxic.” This was the story Nathaniel told. “The goal is to dispose the material to a safe zone.” In order to accomplish this they must, at any given circumstance, (1) never touch the ball directly. (2) make sure the ball doesn’t drop to the ground, and (3) deliver it in the fastest time possible.

Punctured Barrel

To start, the team must extract the ball from the bottom of a punctured barrel. The way to do this is to fill the barrel with water up to the brim until the plastic ball floats up and spills out. Positioned a few yards from the lagoon, the players need to run to and fro, fetching water using only their hands, hair, or garments.

Fairchild Cebu Cooperative Team Building 2017 in Cordova Island Philippines
Puncture barrel transitioning to pipeline


The second relay point: As soon as the ball spills out of the barrel, the players have to catch it with a pipe (still without touching the ball) and pipeline it toward the relay point. In this activity, the members will need to be careful not to drop the so-called “toxic material.” Otherwise the ball goes back to the bottom of the barrel and they will have to extract it again. Their goal here is to work together in order to deliver the ball into an obscure-looking basket.

Fairchild Cebu Cooperative Team Building 2017 in Cordova Island Philippines

Toxic Waste Basket

The last of the three relay points and possibly the most difficult; in this activity the participants are told that “having close contact with the toxic material damaged their vocal chords” and will not be able to communicate verbally. Their task is to deliver the ball to its final destination in a basket tied to tentacle-like strings or webbing ropes of 2 meters length. Adding to the challenge is the restriction of space as solid parallel lines, of three meter in width, is keeping them from coming close to the basket, making it hard to maneuver. When they finally got to the finish line, they will have to tug and pull at the strings (without talking or dropping the ball) so the toxic ball pours out of the basket. Failure will mean that ball goes back at the bottom of barrel. No mercy!  

Fairchild Cebu Cooperative Team Building 2017 in Cordova Island Philippines
Toxic waste basket


Even when the Triathlon was a race, as in the real triple activity consisting of swimming, running, and biking from which the activity was inspired, what’s important is how the awesome people of Fairchild Cebu Cooperative saw that at the end of the day, no matter the inevitable rise of the competitive spirit among units, they are all but one cooperative, moving towards a single purpose, and a unified and sustainable goal—greatness.

Note: This article was contributed by CTFN affiliate Nathaniel John Arong who was main facilitator for this Fairchild Cebu Cooperative training event.


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