This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Bertrand Yan (16S06F), Boys’ Captain; Han Rae Ann (16S07A), Girls’ Captain; Shaun Chua (16S06D), Vice Captain; Ryan Yeo (16S03S), Treasurer
When you hear bowling, what comes to mind? A “sport” where you don’t sweat? Cool balls which can hook? It’s fair to say that there is a lot more to bowling which you have probably never heard of, and here is your chance to begin this great journey as a Raffles Bowler!
A typical day of training begins with 15 minutes of warm up, which includes a set of dynamic stretches. Next, we proceed on to specialised drills that serve to improve our swing and footwork as we approach the pins with the bowling ball. Bowling is a game of consistency, the ability to strike again and again at the same position, which requires immense discipline and mental strength. Hence, these intensive drills serve to build solid fundamentals and a strong mentality encompassing endurance and perseverance – allowing us to achieve consistency in our game even when under the pressure of competition.
After which, the call of our coach’s voice exclaiming “key in your names” is greeted with immense delight as we play a game of bowling and put these skills we’ve learnt into practice with scores and pins fully set like in a competition. But how is it like as a Raffles Bowler? During the games, we actively encourage each other, which includes things from celebrating a good shot, to reminding someone who just missed a spare to focus on the next frame. Through such expressions of support and camaraderie, one cannot help but feel energised and comforted, knowing that your teammates are here for you, as are you for them, as you step up onto the approach more ready than ever to make the best shot of your life.
You are now on the approach, holding your favourite bowling ball in your hand – a perfect fit. You once again remind yourself about your timing, your footwork, and your swing as you focus on your target, to hit it with perfect accuracy towards the “pocket” (position which results in a strike). You take your first step, approaching the pins and throwing the ball as you have practiced countless of times in training. In one swift and momentous motion, the ball leaves your hand and rockets down the lane, as you see it passing through your target, curling, and curling, and curling towards the pocket. Bam. All 10 pins on the deck are down, as excitement, satisfaction and adrenaline rushes through your body. Truly, there is no greater thrill than throwing a perfect strike (except throwing more strikes!).
With that said, however, bowling is not all about strikes and scores. It is not a simple individual sport. Positive team chemistry often means motivated individuals and thus good results. Therefore, we place a very strong focus on team-building. This is cultivated through bonding activities, such as going out for lunch together, and gathering to play games and have fun. Strengthening friendships helps build teammates who are more supportive, which is necessary to keep individual spirits high and to keep minds sharp.
A common question: ‘Do bowlers only stay indoors and bowl?’.
Absolutely not. Raffles Bowling organises many activities outside of curriculum time such as the January Induction Day, March Camp and Farewell. Through these activities, bowlers foster team spirit and forge greater friendships outside of training. Traditionally, the team comes together after each competition (no matter the school’s placing) to celebrate the results and reward members for the effort put in for training. This also serves as an encouragement for better results or better approaches for the next year.
It sounds clichéd, but bowling opens up your mind to new things. You can better understand and feel the significance of staying calm and focused throughout your games. It lets you appreciate the effort put in by others a lot more. What one has to realise is that the luck factor can affect the result, so even if one feels that they deserved to win, they have to accept the outcome. This concept serves as a constant reminder for us to always work hard, to do what we can, and most importantly, to be gracious in defeat.
Bowling is a lot more than just a sport. The extent to which it tests your mental ability is like no other. With the right attitude, there is a lot to be learnt outside of bowling skills themselves. Raffles Bowling is an unforgettable experience that not only strengthens your mind and body, but above all, leaves you with skill sets and memories that you will treasure for life. So, if you’re determined, passionate, and eager to test yourself, Raffles Bowling warmly welcomes you.
Do check out the following links for more information about Bowling: