By Clarence Lee (18S03S), Boys’ Vice-Captain, Soophie Lim (18S07B), Girls’ Vice-Captain and Meg Ang (18S03K), Girls’ Captain
2017 was indeed a spectacular year for the Raffles Tennis family; from clinching awards at the ‘A’ Division National Inter-School Tennis Championships to our Taiwan Trip and participating in our annual tennis camp, RI Tennis truly made the most out of the year.
We are a considerably small sports CCA that has bonded through our common love for tennis. Our training sessions are at the tennis courts behind the parade square, where we train three times a week on Tuesdays (self-training), Wednesdays (2pm–4pm) and Fridays (5pm–7pm). However, we can often be seen hitting the courts on non-training days just for fun, or to work on our skills for upcoming competitions.
The beginning of 2017 was a series of momentous milestones for the RI Tennis family. We participated in the ‘A’ Division National Inter-School Tennis Championships, held around March to April, playing against worthy opponents such as Hwa Chong Junior College and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent). We were made to fight for every point and think actively on court, adapting to every match and applying the skills that we have learnt. From this experience, we learnt to be resolute and to play with determination. We were overjoyed to see our efforts pay off when our girls and boys clinched Champions and First Runners Up respectively.
Our training sessions may be gruelling and immensely challenging, but these trainings are a testament to the amount of grit, determination, and tenacity that tennis players display on court. Each training session is unique, as we work on different aspects of our tennis game every session. Some trainings focus on groundstrokes and consistency, other trainings focus on tactics and matchplay. Each training also has a Physical Training segment, where we have to go through tough exercises to work on our on-court fitness. As such, through school trainings, we are able to work on a diverse range of tennis strokes and on various aspects of our tennis game, which includes technique, tactics, and physical fitness. Moreover, with each passing training session, the Raffles Tennis team not only hopes to hone our tennis skills, but also works towards supporting each other through it all. Hence, someone who thrives under pressure and takes challenges in their stride would enjoy being in our CCA. Frankly, anyone who shares our love and passion for the sport will no doubt enjoy being in our CCA. During a trial, players will have to rally with one another or with one of our tennis players. They will be asked to demonstrate various tennis strokes, such as serves and volleys.
Besides our training sessions and season, we also participated in our annual tennis camp, our seniors’ farewell, our biennial Taiwan Trip and weekly team dinners. For instance, in order to encourage bonding within our team, a 2D1N camp was held in February this year. Many of our seniors took this as an opportunity to share the values that the Raffles Tennis team holds close to their hearts, such as endurance and perseverance, giving us a chance to set our goals as a team for our upcoming season. Furthermore, our Raffles Tennis family had the chance to travel to Taiwan during the March Holidays. There we played matches with our Taiwanese friends every day, and went sightseeing at night. The objective of this eye opening trip was to hone our tennis abilities, practicing with new playing styles and to foster closer ties with our Taiwan friends. In July, we managed to rekindle our friendships with them when our Taiwanese friends came over to Singapore. This gave us the incredible opportunity to serve them and play with them yet again. These events drew us all together as one team.
To the rest of the world, soccer is known as the beautiful game. However, to us, tennis is the beautiful game, it’s our beautiful game. Tennis is about skill, gracefulness, and class. It is a game of both speed and strength, both technique and tactics. Tennis is about never giving up when the going gets tough, fighting your hardest regardless of how well you are playing or who your opponent is, staying calm and concentrated even in the most intense of situations. Tennis not only requires skill and smart play, it also requires focus, grit, determination, and mental strength. There are so many different shots to hit and tactics to play. Tennis is a simple yet complicated game that is a test of both character and skill. It is a beautiful sport that we all love and play. At first glance, tennis may seem like an individual sport, as the matches are merely singles and doubles, and not a team sport. In reality, it is a sport that brings all of us together, and each and every one of us constitutes an integral part of the Raffles Tennis community, a community bonded together through the common love and passion for the sport. Cheering each other on from the sidelines, training and fighting together, shedding both tears of disappointment and tears of joy… tennis is no doubt a team sport. We enter the court, knowing full well that the team is behind us. We fight our hearts out, because that is what we do, both for ourselves and for the team. We win together and lose together, as one team. Raffles Tennis is not just our CCA, it is our family.