By Kenneth Quek (17A01D)
They said to shoot for the stars, for if you miss you’ll land among the clouds. Here at the RI Shooting Club, we don’t even miss.
Shooting hardly fits the mold of an archetypal sport; rather than focusing on movement and raw strength, shooting prizes stillness, mental focus, and – of course – a steady hand. More than simply pumping a target card full of holes, shooting is a test of one’s mental rather than physical endurance: it is about discipline, balance, focus, precision, accuracy, and a rigourous commitment to complete technical perfection.
The best part of it all? Shooting actually relates to life almost seamlessly. The thorough and uncompromising focus that is demanded of a shooter is especially useful in our hectic JC lifestyle, getting many a shooter through the endless slog of mugging, and even helping us survive the lecture theatres with a few missing hours of sleep. To be able to remain unmoving and unaffected by the results you see on your target card, not made complacent by the outstanding, yet also not demoralised by the mediocre, is a deceptively difficult skill to master, but one that is indispensable in overcoming the emotional hurdles of life.
And of course, personally, the steadiness of hand inevitably acquired through shooting has won more than one close-fought game of Jenga. Many members of the shooting club can vouch to share these sentiments, and all have their own stories to tell about how Shooting has changed them.
The shooting club is very small compared to many other sports CCAs, with no more than 30 of us every year. As a community, this makes it very easy for us to be very close-knit – within our divisions, within our batch, and even as a CCA. Sharing notes, going on impromptu CCA outings, revelling in our batch-wide addiction to Frisbee and ‘lepaking’ before training are all just as integral a part of the shooting club as shooting itself. If the school is our second home, then our CCA is our second family.
Our small size also allows for extremely flexible training times, allowing Shooting to cater to every shooter’s timetabling needs. The range is open every weekday for four hours, with members being able to train whenever best suits them, as long as they make the quota of 3 training sessions per week.
The shooting CCA is split into two groups: the pistol and rifle shooters, with both groups being further split into the men’s and women’s team. Each division sends four shooters for competitions. This year, we are proud to have taken home the championship trophy for Air Pistol Men and Air Rifle Women, 2nd place for Air Rifle Men, and 3rd for Air Pistol women.
Next year, we intend to set our sights higher, and continue to shoot for starry heights.