This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Cacia Tan (16S03G), Girls’ Captain, and Daryl Kow (16S06R), Boys’ Captain
You are on third. It’s scoring position. If you make it home, the game is over and Raffles wins the championship. You shift on the base, and glance at the coach as he taps out the signal. Wrist, chest, shoulder. He wants you to steal home. You nod at coach and roll your shoulders. The final sprint is here, and you have to time it perfectly. The atmosphere is tense as the opponent’s pitcher starts his wind-up. You focus on his wrist. Wait for the release. Wait for it – and explode off the base for home. The ball is hit to the shortstop and she hustles to throw. It’s a final race between you and the ball as both head for home plate. Down! But you go down too late and miss home plate. Your heart freezes and your brain blanks, yet your body reacts, twisting around and reaching for the plate as the glove sweeps just above your hand. “Safe!” The umpire’s single word sparks an uproar of cheers from the Raffles crowd. Your heart lifts as you get up. You did it.
Welcome to Raffles Softball, where we train for three hours every Monday, Wednesday and Friday towards our goal of a grand slam title during the Interschool Championships in April and May. Each training culminates in a final moment. The strength and skill attained through constant practice and correction comes down to that one swing – to score the winning run, or that perfect throw for the final out. The mental resilience acquired from learning how to recover from each strikeout to courageously attempt another at-bat, or to recover from a costly error builds character and determination. It helps you stay strong, when the team is runs down.
Beyond personal skills, the camaraderie built with each session as you and your teammates sweat it out together under the unforgiving sun, covering for each other and cheering each other on only grows stronger with each match. Years beyond JC, the Raffles Softball community forged through bruises and blisters remains.
Raffles Softball is more than a CCA. As cliched as this sounds, it is truly a family. Countless generations of softballers who were once coached under our late coach Mr Nelson Lim Hock Hua form the backbone of a strong alumni. We have the privilege of having coaches who are able to relate to us as many of them were former Raffles players themselves not too long ago! We are also blessed with wonderful teachers-in-charge who are dedicated, supportive and understanding. Having teachers who genuinely care for each and every player’s welfare both on and off the field and who are constantly looking out for us is something we enjoy and are extremely grateful for as Rafflesian Softballers.
As a Softball member, you can look forward to tiring training sessions under the hot sun, games at ungodly hours and pressure like no other. But: expect much laughter, satisfaction and memories.
There is no doubt that Raffles Softball requires much commitment and dedication. Nothing sweet comes easy. But if you’re game, then the Raffles Softball Family warmly welcomes you to the team. :)