By Jeslyn Tan (18S06R) and Carman Chew (17A01D)
Photos by Regine Chan (18S03D), Matilda Yeong (18S03H) and Francis Fermandez (18S03L)
‘WHAT TEAM?’ The loud cry of successful bowlers echoed through the bowling alley, fists pumping the air in victory every time they scored a strike. The answering cheer was a resounding ‘RAFFLES!’
Surrounded by friends, family, teachers and fellow students, Raffles Bowling took to the lanes once again and came back with phenomenal results.
In the Girls’ Singles Event, Vanessa Choong (17S03P) and Tiara Atiqah (17S03F) clinched the first and second positions respectively, prevailing over their closest competitors by a mere twelve pins. Together with Joy Kwek (17S03M) and Alyssa Deanna (17S07B), the team also went on to nab the silver trophy for the Quartet Event, coming in close behind on ACJC’s tail. In the All Events category, Vanessa also finished third, boasting a total of six above-200 games.
When asked what she thought about her performance, Vanessa replied that it was the pressure to retain the school title that kept her fighting through despite the initial stumble. She also attributed much of her success to the resilient and strong team spirit of the bowlers, commenting that she “honestly couldn’t have done it without the team who helped [her] along way”.
The boys fought their hardest as well, with one of the teams — comprising of Nicholas Loh (17S07C), Ryan Teo (17S07C), Nicholas Tan (17S06J) and Matthew Gwee (18S06I) — cutting it close for the sixth position. With almost half the boys competing without prior competition experience, it truly took nerves of steel to bowl alongside fierce competition.
“It was a really tough fight this year,” boys’ captain Ryan Teo commented, “but I’m very proud of all the bowlers because I know we trained really hard and did our best, and while we (the boys) may not have met our expectations by the thinnest of margins I hope everyone leaves this with no regrets.”
True to their word, Raffles Bowling gave nothing but their 110% and the fruits of their labor were evident, especially when the girls caught up with ACJC on the final day. They successfully defended their Overall Schools championship title for the second year running with a slim margin of seven pins. The boys also had their efforts pay off when Nicholas Loh came in second place for the Masters event.
Coach Eugene Yong, who had only started formally coaching the Raffles Bowling team just this year, praised the team’s efforts, saying that he saw many break out of their comfort zones, rise to challenges, and grow as people. “In the A Division,” he explained. “Winning is reserved for 3 categories of bowlers: the dedicated, the talented and the prepared — and the best plan moving forward is to be prepared.”
Although not every bowler returned home with trophies in hand, every bowler did leave with strengthened ties and a stronger conviction. As Guest-of-Honor Ms Shayna Ng raised in her speech: “At the end of the day, not everyone is going home with medals and trophies, but all of you are going home as winners. It’s not about the prize, but about the lessons you learn.”
Raffles Press would like to congratulate the bowlers and wish them all the best for their future competitions!