This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Jerome Kwang (16S06M), Chloe Wang (16A01D), Nathan Wong (16S03K) and Tricia Tan (16S07C), Swimming EXCO’16
What time does your day start? 6.30am? Try 5am. How does your day start? Washing up at home before travelling to school? Try a few kilometers in the cold, 6am water at the pool. That’s how the day of a Rafflesian swimmer might begin.
Swimming pushes us to our physical limits, and beyond our mental ones. As a sport which requires a high level of discipline, it teaches us how to prioritise our various commitments and practise good time management. Most importantly, swimming strengthens our willpower and trains our mental capacities, allowing us to better respond to stressful situations in everyday life. Sometimes, it can be hard to understand why someone would spend so much time on one activity. Swimming lap after lap, turn after turn, day after day – just to improve by a second, maybe two if we’re lucky. Perhaps that is why we have a team: so we can understand each other. There is a certain, very special thrill in competing in the water: against the water, against others, and against yourself. We all have a sense of ambition which pushes us forward, pushes us to train harder, to get stronger and faster. Sometimes, when life gets chaotic, being underwater suddenly becomes immensely calming. Maybe that’s why we just keep swimming.
If you can relate to everything we have just said, then maybe you’ll enjoy Raffles Swim Team. Swimming is different from other sports, as our swimmers train with their respective clubs and coaches. However, we meet with the team once a week, alternating between training and bonding activities, such as birthday celebrations and administrative updates, as well as little catch-up sessions between the team members to foster a stronger team spirit within the squad. Our CCA community is very lively, sometimes a little rowdy, but we know to be disciplined at appropriate times, and of course, we know how to have lots of fun together. We have swimming camps to look forward to, and of course, our team dinners after finals!
Besides that, we also provide avenues for our swimmers to give back to the community, via community involvement programmes such as the Special Olympics. We help teach those with disabilities how to swim, boosting their confidence in water.
Most people think that swimming is not that hard and that it is “just about swimming laps”. However, we ourselves know what the regime is really like for a competitive swimmer. We know why we swim lap after lap, turn after turn, day after day. We as swimmers, know how crucial one second may be. Many may argue that in an individualistic sport like swimming, a team is hardly necessary, as building bonds with your competitors might not be the smartest move. But we beg to differ: it highly instrumental to have a good and supportive team to cheer you on in your lows, and to celebrate your highs. Maybe you would like to be part of this team.
Click here to find out more about the 2015 National Championships!