By Raffles Rugby
Raffles Rugby is a CCA that everybody who isn’t scoring high flyer grades or doesn’t have a piano distinction wants to join. Or at least, it was, a few years ago. Back in the day, everyone used to look up to Raffles ruggers as the leaders of the school who were primarily famous for troublemaking, looking jacked up, troublemaking, sleeping in class and well, troublemaking. Well, people still look up to us, but only those below five foot ten. Raffles Rugby isn’t just a CCA, it’s a culture. It’s a lifestyle that mainly involves spending way too long in the gym, being stereotyped as jocks by majority of the school, and mastering the art of faking a calf cramp during fitness trainings. That is, until you find a good Chinese girl and get carted away to sit at her table every morning.
We train thrice a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If Saturday trainings seem inconvenient for you, fret not because all you have to do is find a religious institute that requires your attendance on Saturday mornings (any religion is fine). Or we could win the gold medal so we don’t have to share our field with softball on Fridays. Yeah, the rugby field has a rugby post only on one end. Weekday trainings start at 4:30pm and end at 6:30, but sometimes our coach’s watch stops working and we end up running until 7, or 8, depending on daylight savings. Yet, no one has the guts to tell him there’s a clock tower behind him. Saturday trainings are usually shorter and last from 8:30am until we’re done.
There are only 3 major events in a year that you can expect to experience as a Raffles rugger, but these are events that you will remember for the rest of your life. Firstly, there’s the annual Kiwi cup, a match between RI and Saint Andrew’s, to be played at SAJC in 2018, and back on home turf in 2019. It is when the whole school comes to cheer you on and there is nothing better than feeling all the power and energy that emanates from the crowd cheering you on. Except probably winning the match. Or the buffet after. Either way, Raffles Rugby offers you a 3 in 1 pass to the Kiwi cup. The second one would be our National School Games season itself, where you will get the chance to don the school colours and play your heart out for the school. The third and final event is an annual barbecue at the deputy principal’s house, which happens to be in school itself. To be invited to this exclusive event, one must either be a Raffles rugger or happen to walk past the convenience store beside his place at the right time.
The general spirit of our CCA revolves around hardwork and dedication. In addition to giving our best during trainings, we are also expected to visit the gym. We have become such regular patrons of the gym that during the exam period, the gym’s opening hours were from 12–3, the same scoreline by which we lost our last finals. You learn lots of lessons too, especially the value of punctuality as coming late for training results in the whole team doing suicides, but coming too early results in running 10 rounds, unless we pretend to stretch. Other than that, we also do meet up a lot outside training. We spend a lot of time together before and after school, as well as meet up during the holidays to have fun. This is because we are not only a team, but a family.
Our achievements over the past year include winning the Kiwi Cup, clinching overall 2nd for the National School Games, breaking a collarbone just before season, tearing three ligaments this year, colgating Nawfal, and not being friends with the touch ruggers (shoutout to Ryan Ultimate Volumized Hair Alexius Mckenzie Supastriker Leong Lup Man).
We accept everybody regardless of experience. Below is an excerpt from an elaborate interview we conducted with temporary KS Bull awardee Master James Deng, the only JAE person crazy enough to join us this year:
“Training is alright, certain level of fitness is needed. Discipline is needed. Highly recommend to go gym during free time and do fitness. Just train hard and have fun.”
But at the end of the day, no matter how much banter and fun we have or how tough training is, Rugby is a sport that changes you. It builds character and resilience, as well as fosters a spirit of family and bonding. It is indeed a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.
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