This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Michelle Chong (16S03N), Vice-Captain, and Guo Xinyi (16S06P)
There’s nothing quite like the immeasurable joy when you step onto a volleyball court. Across the net a ball is about to take off and will go to anyone on this side of the net. You share a glance with your five teammates, widen your stance, lower your body weight, and you await.
The ball leaves the server’s hand. In a split second you realise where it’s heading for. You run, stretch your arms out and shout, “Mine!”
Welcome to volleyball.
In the simplest sense, volleyball is a game where six members on one side of the net attempt to land a bouncy ball on the other side. Yet, it is so much more than that. Endurance, camaraderie and teamwork are just some of the treasures encompassed in volleyball, and a Raffles Volleyballer has the chance to earn all of them.
Raffles Volleyball is a relatively new CCA to the school and presumably to many of its members, who come from all walks of life. The Raffles Volleyballers have had a wide variety of secondary school CCAs and most have daringly chosen to try and pick up this new sport of ball volleying in the name of fun and adventure. Regardless of your skill or experience level, if you, the undecided explorer, carry a desire for adventure and excitement, Raffles Volleyball could very well be your destination.
In the first term of the year, three trainings are conducted weekly in preparation for Nationals, Tuesdays and Fridays 5pm-8pm and Saturdays 9am to 12pm. As Nationals end and Common Tests begin, trainings cool down to Tuesdays and Saturdays only. A typical training session involves two hours of warm-ups and drills, and one of gameplay, accompanied by two experienced and driven coaches. Girls and guys train separately, the former with a net of 224cm in height and the latter with a net of 243 cm. Volleyball will not be easy to pick up as it will require a few months to set the foundations before a match can even be attempted. As a result, initial trainings may feel a little slow or frustrating. However, once you’ve learnt the basic dig, set and spike, volleyball will be an exhilarating team sport, which also cultivates bonds through cheers and encouragement each time it is played.
Each year, we enter the Nationals and compete with teams of various schools. Being a developmental sport, lack of experience gives us a disadvantage compared to other schools, and results are not always stellar. There may be disappointments, but we make it a point not to let them overtake our enjoyment of the sport. Regardless of the results of the competition, every batch has felt the sense of accomplishment at having picked up a new sport and competed as a team. It is a wonderful experience. Matches with other schools and community leagues also give us a chance to play against others and hone our skills.
Contrary to many other CCAs, the Raffles Volleyball journey does not end with A levels. A strong alumni community provides a platform to play volleyball frequently even after graduation. Casual beach volleyball matches and coaching from seniors are some perks of an enthusiastic alumni community, but one of the main events of alumni life is the annual Old Rafflesian League Games. In the beginning of each year, around January, batches of Raffles Volleyballers gather to play, eat and just see one another. There is no age limit, in fact, participants range from 18 to 60 years old. In other words, once a Raffles Volleyballer, always a Raffles Volleyballer.
The current team consists of 25 energetic members – 10 boys and 15 girls. Batch lunches and outings maintain a lively team spirit and a warm atmosphere, the freedom to make mistakes on court as well as the drive to improve. The dynamics of every batch will never be the same, but sweating, panting, hungering and thirsting together has a way of building strong team spirit like nothing else does. But of course, each new batch will have to put in their own effort into creating a bonded and motivated Raffles Volleyball team.
Apart from fast reflexes and impressive moves, Raffles Volleyball can give you incredible fun and a supportive CCA community. The Raffles Volleyball experience has been an enriching one for many batches of volleyballers and will certainly be one for you.
To find out more information about Raffles Volleyball or trials, visit our Open House booth in the Indoor Sports Hall during Open House or simply contact Zhi Feng at 83999875.
To find out more information about volleyball in general, here’s a good website you could try.