This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Track EXCO ’16
Track and Field is easy to pick up. However, to excel in a sport like ours is tough – it is a great test of discipline and athleticism that is far from easy. Yet, the grit and fortitude it imbues in you may well make it one of the most gratifying experiences of a lifetime. As physically gruelling track is, we constantly challenge our willpower, and break our perceived limits.
Now, this makes all trackers seem like very serious individuals but… trackers do know how to have fun too – and have fun together as a team. Other than having our own little moments of entertainment during trainings as sections, we often come together as a team for bonding sessions. Fun events like Track Night, Track Chalet are organised for the team to come together and just relax :) Beach trainings and Botanic Garden treasure hunts are organized by coaches for us to train and enjoy ourselves immensely at the same time (and also because our coaches themselves like to chill once in awhile too). Not forgetting how tough it is to maintain one’s motivation for trainings over an extended period of time, we have Track Camp once a year to charge ourselves up again with a reminder of our teammates around us and what we all are fighting for (no, not just the trophy, but what we each value and want to achieve personally too).
If it isn’t already obvious by now, Track & Field is different from most other teams. The typical idea that many have of a team is one where everyone does similar activities at the same time together – but that doesn’t necessarily make a team, does it? RI Track & Field is a team, but we also have different trainings, different interests and different ways of achieving our goals. Exactly which type are you more inclined towards? Below are in depth descriptions of what exactly each section does for you to find out (written by trackers from each individual section so you can be sure that whatever is written there is indeed what you will observe).
Sprinting is the act of running over a short distance at near top speed. The sprints events consists of 100m-800m and hurdles events. Yes, Usain Bolt does the 100m and 200m. So if you want to experience what he feels, try sprints out!
Trainings are tiring but rewarding. We continually work on our speed, strength and endurance. Training really tests our physical and mental strength, but at the end of the day it prepares us in overcoming challenges in life. Training also builds up team spirit and make us feel more united in achieving our goal.
There are 3 main events in jumps, the Long Jump, the High Jump and the Triple Jump. Training can be physically taxing but mental strength is more important. One has to be daring and confident in order to excel in jumps. If you want to learn to fly, do join us for a first hand experience at flying without any aid.
Jumps is an event that requires a lot of coordination. It isn’t just jumping, but rather jumping high or far.
Throws consists of Shot Put, Javelin and Discus, for both boys and girls. Shot Put’s the heavy metal ball, Javelin is the spear-like implement while discus is well… a disc.
Throws is an event that is truly brings out the meaning of the phrase “more than meets the eye”. A lot of people (even our close friends) still think that throws is all about arm strength but we actually use a combination of leg strength, core and definitely arms. Our coach once described throws as a combination of “the speed of a sprinter and the explosiveness of a jumper and the strength of… a thrower”.
Training usually consists of gym work, throws and a lot of crazy, mad banter. We are also free to explore all the implements, in fact, Mr Choo (the year 1-4 coach) insists that we pick up the different skill sets from the various events.
Despite the fact that throws seem like an easy event, training can get pretty tough sometimes. You’ll definitely need determination, strength and endurance to become a thrower. But it’s alright as you’ll have your teammates suffering with you, and that’s what makes the bond so special. :)
Whenever I tell people I do pole vault, I often get the question, “Pole vault? What’s that?”
Well, for starters, pole vault is an event in Track and Field where a person runs and plants a pole in the ground before shooting up four metres in the air and clearing the height. While it may appear as just a brief adrenalin rush for others, it certainly isn’t just that to me. To me, pole vault is an art, and one which you can never master. There are always things you can improve in pole vault: you can run faster, you can jump harder, or you can get stronger to pull yourself higher. And with each jump session, you just keep working on what you’re weak at. Of course, there are no perfect training sessions, some days you just can’t seem to improve, and that’s okay. You just come back and keep working on it. It isn’t that bad after all, as long as you’re with your training buddies. Improvement is a process, and with hardwork and determination, anyone can do it. YOU can do it.
Walks, also known as race-walking, is a rather new event to track in Singapore! There is only one event for walks in nationals – 5000m walks for guys and 3000m walks for girls. You may think walking is an easy thing to do but racewalking is different as there are several techniques involved. In the competition, competitors must ensure that one foot must be in contact with the ground at any times, or they may be disqualified so it is not as easy it as seems. For trainings, we do mainly fitness trainings, such as intervals, fartlek and long runs at Macritchie reservoir. Your fitness level will definitely improve by leaps and bounds from your first training. There are three trainings every week which is definitely tiring for us, but being a small section, we have definitely bonded throughout the year and helped each other mentally and physically which made trainings much more enjoyable!
After reading through the different sections, you might have picked up on something… that RI Track & Field is filled with a variety of people who all have vastly different personalities (and writing styles!). But the worst thing you can conclude about RJ Track & Field is that we are just different people from different backgrounds, who are under some label of a team. Due to our large numbers, we may not be especially bonded but it is truly special that we can ultimately come together, as a team.
Despite all the differences, all of us still have one thing in common:
We stand together with our limits behind.