by Quek Zhi Hao (13S06K), Lim En Wei (13S06J), and Ashley Wee (13A03A)
The name RI is usually synonymous with competition. Rafflesians are encouraged to fight for the school, and display school pride. While certainly laudable, many-a-times, Rafflesians tend to get distracted from the true reason for why they fight: passion.
You may have seen a few students playing badminton in the air-conditioned MPH to the tune of groovy music, or perhaps seen students carrying badminton racquets and chilling out in the canteen together. You may have been secretly envious of them. Well, there’s no need to, you can join them!
Recreational Badminton hearkens back to the soul of the sport – passion. The light-hearted sessions provide an environment that allows members to pursue their interest in badminton. Once every week, members gather after assembly (this timing is subject to change in 2013) for 2 hours of immersion in one of Asia’s favorite sports.
Weekly training sessions are not Recre Badminton’s only fare. Members can look forward to friendlies with Recreational Badminton teams from other schools like Anderson Junior College and Hwa Chong Institution, in which they can join like-minded people in their favorite pastime.
Indeed, the only pre-requisite for joining the team is a strong interest in badminton. “Getting into this CCA is easy,” says Jillian Heng (13SO6B), “all you need to do is show your interest in the sport!” There are no nerve-wracking interviews, or tiresome tryouts. New members don’t even need to have touched a racquet before!
Not needing prior experience allows students from all ranges of skill levels to join and learn together. The absence of strong rivalry allows each individual member to develop his or her skills at a different pace. This dissuades relentless competition, yet fosters the love for the sport, while mainting an atmosphere which encourages camaraderie. Annabel Goh (13SO6B) says, “Because our practices are not as intense as competitive CCAs, the best thing about Recre Badminton is the bonding and sense of belonging that you get.”
One way in which the above is exemplified is in the school’s annual Inter-House Competition (IHC). In 2012, Recreational Badminton members had an opportunity to organize an engaging session of badminton for the rest of the institution that saw the bending of traditional badminton rules, putting a creative twist to the otherwise standard game of badminton. IHC Recreational Badminton saw teams of three play against each other, with two shuttlecocks in play at the same time – a form of organized chaos, if you will. Participant Lu Zhao Boyu (13A01D) says that “IHC Recre Badminton was one game which required utmost concentration and cooperation with your fellow team mates. It was an enjoyable process juggling two shuttlecocks and trying to stay focused.”
In essence, Raffles Recreational Badminton is about passion, friendships and lots of fun! “It is what a CCA should be; a time to de-stress and just have fun with friends who share the same love for badminton,” says Raphael Quek (12S03T). Indeed, the formula to an enriching CCA experience can be this simple. If you have the passion, join Recreational Badminton!