CCA Previews ’18: Squash

By Wong Rende (18S03Q), Vice-Captain

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Raffles Squash family 2017 (absent from photo: Aaron Liang)

What do you look for in a CCA? What is a CCA to you? Is it about your gold, your glory, your gratification? If you seek greater things beyond those trivial desires, then read on. Squash is about training your heart out for when you walk onto the court to play. Squash is about playing your heart out even as your breathing gets heavier, your legs get tired and your shots get looser, all for the team. Squash is about being able to look back to see the team cheering their hearts out till their vocal chords are torn up and shot, in victory or defeat. In short, Raffles Squash is about heart and family, what about you?

Perhaps you are not acquainted well with Squash; after all, it is a hidden gem among sports. Squash, a unique sport invented in Britain at some point in the 19th century, is played in an indoor court where the ball is free to bounce on all 4 walls, so long as it hits the front wall once. Unlike most other racquet sports, in which the ball’s trajectory does not change much, squash demands increased foresight in order to judge the small black ball’s final position. As much as the ball can send your heart pounding as you race in all directions around the court, your mind also scrambles to read your opponent and seek for the best opportunities of attack and defence. Briefly put, squash is a game of physical chess. You are the rook with your tight drives, the knight with your slick angling of your boasts and the bishop with your lightning quick cross-courts. This way, It is the ultimate combination of skill, will, agility, fitness, mental resilience and strategy. Our training refines these traits via court and physical training. Court trainings involve rallies and drills which provide both fundamental and crucial foundations required to play a decent match. After all, no matter how tough a game gets, every squash player can fall back on their basics and continue to present a stunning performance on court.  However, as the time ticks by and our polished strokes lose their usual sharpness, this is the critical moment when our fitness is the determining factor that draws the line between victory and defeat. Our regular physical training sessions assures every player on the team of such endurance and the ability to play every match to their fullest.

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A thrilling performance by Aaron Liang in the 2017 A Division Squash Finals

Our court and physical training sessions total 3 sessions each week with each session lasting from 2 to 3 hours. Apart from physical training sessions, held within the school compound, sessions take place at Serangoon Gardens Country Club. Training sessions usually fall on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. After the National Inter-School Squash Championships draw to a close, the intensity and number of training sessions is reduced. For the Year 6s, training ceases as they prepare to conquer their A Levels, and as for the Year 5s, the number of training sessions is reduced to twice a week to provide the team with an ample balance of time for academic and recreational activities.

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The 2017 A Division Squash Championship where we clinched the Boys Championship Title and 1st runners-up in the Girls Championship

But beyond training sessions, as aforementioned, Raffles Squash is a family. With a relatively small batch size, team members connect at a far more personal level. This ensures that while Raffles Squash may be small in numbers, we are big in heart and have a tight-knit culture among members. We each make the constant effort to encourage and push each other to soar to greater heights, whether it be during the demanding physical training sessions or the strenuous examination seasons, as well as during the interschool season. All in all, Raffles Squash thrives on our team’s kindred spirits. Here at Raffles Squash, we always fight as a team. We don’t compete in individual matches, we compete in championships, and it is the team, not the player, who ends up clinching the gold. In the end, victory or defeat, what’s important to us is that we remain as a team and a family, and we celebrate this together as one.

Therefore, if this is what you crave for in a CCA, an experience deeper than being just yet another time-consuming “Co-Curricular Activity”, then Raffles Squash welcomes you to the family.

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