By Asfar Alim (18S03J). Photographs by Asfar Alim and Goh Ting Wei (18S03K)
On Friday, 2nd June 2017, RI’s dragon boating teams competed in the National Inter School ‘A’ Division dragon boating championship, held at the bustling Marina Reservoir.
The two teams were entirely composed of J1 students, all part of the very first batch of RI’s new Dragon boating CCA. They were determined to impress the crowd with the school’s debut in the dragon boating scene. Indeed, both the boys’ and girls’ team performed well in the heats earlier that day, qualifying for the 200m finals held in the late afternoon.
The finals were a short but intense spectacle. The ‘A’ Division boys’ team competed against formidable opponents such as SJI, NYJC, NJC and MJC. Despite their initial struggle against NJC (who had quickly secured a lead), the boys worked together and paddled furiously, eventually getting 5th placing in the race.
Their coach, Kannan, was satisfied with the sportsmanship shown by the team in spite of the loss. “(You were able to tell your opponents that) they did a good job, (and) congratulated them on their fight. That is what shows the rest who we are. And that is what differentiates Raffles from the other schools,” he said after the race.
The ‘A’ Division girls were aggressive in their attempts to overtake NJC and SJI (two teams that were also close to being in the lead). Our girls exhausted all their energy, paddling with great speed to the finishing line. The result was a very close one, with RI beating SJI for 2nd place by mere milliseconds. Certainly, this achievement made their struggles (both in training and in the race itself) well worth all the effort.
Despite this event taking place during the June holidays, many Rafflesians came down to the venue to support their friends, truly showing the extent of their school spirit. Their cheers and support were most appreciated by the competitors that day.
The camaraderie and sportsmanship shown by the dragon boating teams have brought them far in the competition. Their skill and tenacity were apparent and are all the more impressive as some members are fairly new to the sport.
Our pioneer batch of dragon boaters has certainly achieved commendable results, and in doing so, has truly set the bar high for future batches of the CCA.
Shermaine Loh (Captain)
Loo Zen Yee (Vice-captain)
Lee Yee Lei
Goh Ting Wei
Lucas Cheng (Captain)
John Fu (Vice-captain)
Yong Yan Jian