Team Raffles Games: Week 1

By Raffles Press

The snitch has been released! Over the past week, members from all five houses fought to do their houses proud, in a series of games that saw victors fall from grace and underdogs rise to glory overnight. But daily morning updates of the overall house standings don’t tell the full picture. Raffles Press investigates and reports back on the various TRGs organised by the CCAs.

Shooting: Hit Me With Your Best Shot

By Loh Lin (19A01D)

Photo courtesy of Amy Lin (19A01B) from Raffles Photographic Society

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All was tranquil outside the Shooting Range. The scene lying in wait on the other side of the door, however, pierced through the silence instantaneously as both beginners and experienced shooters alike fired at the rifle cards set up for their practice round. Deep in concentration, their eyes never left the targets as they squeezed and released their triggers. After a few haphazard aims, the beginners seemed to have gotten the hang of things, hitting their marks more often than not. From there, they executed the same motions like an ensemble in the making — rifle snug on the shoulder, lean back, aim, fire. The members of Raffles Shooting were by their sides in an instant throughout it all, smooth and brisk in their reloading of the pellets.

After the first two rounds, one of which had participants shooting at balloons, the finals were underway. MR fell behind after the first shot, followed by HH. As the participants of the remaining three houses took their stand, Raffles Shooters broke out into rhythmic clapping, cheering the participants on. Despite the din, the participants remained unfazed, laser-focused on the target still. Two shots in, a BB participant on the sidelines urged his friend on, “There’s still one more shot! It’s not over yet!” Another loud crack later, BW claimed victory.

Rankings:

1st: BW

2nd: BB

3rd: HH

4th: MT

5th: MR

Squash: Taking A Crack At Squash

By Caryn Chiah Ka-May (19A01A)

Photo courtesy of Dylan Siew (19S06E) from Raffles Photographic Society

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On Monday, Rafflesians burning with house spirit were led up a narrow flight of stairs, through the backstage area of Albert Hong Hall, and into a hardly-entered place in RI: The squash courts. Squashed onto the single long concrete bench, players spurred on their housemates as they sparred.

Although most games end when either player scores eleven points, two particularly evenly-matched opponents fought it all the way to a final score of 20-18. Onlookers groaned and cheered as the two struggled neck-to-neck, never allowing the other to wrest more than one point from them at a time. Unexpectedly, the player who prevailed had actually lost his first match 11-0.

“I’ve never seen the ball fly out of the court so many times before,” joked one of the squash teachers-in-charge. Indeed, while most players had no squash experience and sent balls swerving wildly, they played hard, sustaining impressive rallies. In the end, maintaining their strong lead from the beginning, MR emerged as champions.

Rankings:

1st: MR

2nd: BW

3rd: BB

4th: MT

5th: HH

CLDCS: Discovering the Fun in Chinese

By Ina Song (19S07C)

Photo courtesy of Jiang Jin Liang (19S06N) from Raffles Photographic Society

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This year, the first non-sports CCA to host their TRG event is none other than CLDCS. The two hours spent in the Blue Room were certainly rewarding, leaving no doubt that the participants learnt a new thing or two while still enjoying themselves. Indeed, the array of games and quiz questions prepared by CLDCS members kept all participants (who were notably responsive throughout) thoroughly engaged. Over the sound of never-ending laughter came the call of a plastic toy chicken, the clanking of a metal plate and the screeching of a squeaky ball. These varied props were given out to participants during the quiz to use to signal when they wanted to answer a question, which added an additional playful touch to the activity. The fight for first place was evident in the participants’ incredible display of perseverance and house spirit, eventually resulting in a hard-fought draw between BW and MR.

Rankings:

Tied for 1st: MR and BW

3rd: MT

4th: BB

5th: HH

Fencing: Outside Your Comfort Zone

By Phang Yeu Yeou (19A01A)

Photo courtesy of Brendon Loo (19S03H) from Raffles Photographic Society

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All is still on the piste. The tension in the air runs taut as a wire; faceless ghouls stiffen into the en garde position, watching. Waiting. “Fence!” A powerful lunge forward, and the épée finds its mark. In the background, the audible throb and twang of swords clashing intimates a different sort of suspense.

On Tuesday, the five houses came together to step out of their comfort zones — quite literally. Each house was matched up round-robin style to every other house, with the first side to score 12 points securing a victory for their house. A rotation of 3 players was sent up for each bout, allowing all to wield the épée in combat at least twice.

Competition in the air was electrifying, with spectators raucously hollering when their teammates landed a hit and urging them on with pointers to do better when they fell short. The more aggressive bouts saw players prowling the other in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Like live darting snakes, they jabbed outwards in unexpected bursts of movement, gambling their chances at victory in a gambol of vicious back-and-forth. More cautious players extended their arms warily to parry attacking blows instead, only retracting like a frog’s tongue that had captured its prize after a surreptitious clip to the target area.

Although the air-conditioner was off the entire time, the sweat that stuck to participants once all the gear had been removed was well-earned indeed.

Rankings:

1st: MT

2nd: MR

3rd: HH

4th: BB

5th: BW

Handball (organised by Raffles Softball): Not Throwing Away Their Shot 

By Loh Lin (19A01D)

Photo courtesy of Ryan Ng (19S06N) from Raffles Photographic Society

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Few things are as fierce and vigorous as a game of Handball. This TRG saw numerous instances of balls catapulting towards goalposts at alarming speeds, only to be deftly knocked aside by the goalkeepers. Pausing only briefly to wince and check for bruises, the goalkeepers then retrieved the ball and flung it back to their waiting teammates. Ball secured and eyes pinned on the defending team’s goal, they darted off.

Unsurprisingly, tensions ran high as players wrestled with their frustration when they failed to land a goal, with shot after shot blocked or slickly intercepted. The boys were relentless in their competitiveness, barely faltering even as they collided with one another. At one point, a player stumbled — unable to rein in the force of his charge — and slammed into the fence. He shook it off. Taylor Swift would be proud.

The girls were just as dogged, nimbly intercepting shots and yelling instructions to the rest of their team as they looked for an opening in the wall of defenders. Although they slipped and tripped over one another’s feet several times, it didn’t take long for them to brush themselves off and leap back into the game. Even as BB took the lead in the end, this had been a slightly scary display of tenacity from all five houses.

Rankings:

1st: BB

Tied for 2nd: MR and BW

4th: HH

5th: MT

Tennis: Putting the ‘Ten’ in Tennis 

By Shervon Lee (19S06A)

Photo courtesy of Tian Ruiying (19S05B) from Raffles Photographic Society

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The sun was hotter than the tennis players on this fine Tuesday afternoon, as participants gathered promptly to warm up for the Tennis TRG. The heat did nothing to deter the avid participants, however, and soon enough, the rhythmic thuds of balls on the ground sounded from the tennis courts. Much to the players’ surprise, everyone seemed well-versed in the rules and gameplay, confidently whacking every ball that came their way. Exciting competition ensued.

Split into sports and non-sports, pairs from each house took turns to spar with others. All in the spirit of fun, rackets were swung with surprising amounts of finesse and balls flew across the net in impressive arcs. Participants were brimming with enthusiasm and, even after every 20 minutes of gameplay, continued sparring during breaks. It proved to be a fun-filled afternoon for all participants that day, with all participants leaving with a satisfying sheen of sweat.

Rankings:

1st: MR

2nd: MT

3rd: HH

4th: BB

5th: BW

Chess: Check, and Mate 

By Loh Lin (19A01D)

Photo courtesy of Li Ruiqi (19A01A) from Raffles Photographic Society

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“You’re gonna get SMASHED!” Raucous laughter bursts from the tables where Chinese Chess was underway. Hands paused in mid-motion, stopping short of making their move or pressing the chess clock. Turning around to glance at the source of distraction, the players of International Chess exchanged bemused looks, before shrugging it off and returning to their game. Meanwhile, a small crowd formed around a particularly intense Chinese Chess game, delighted at the prospect of a close fight.

It wasn’t long before another round of guffaws broke out. This time, it’s from the I-Chess players analysing a game that had just been completed. Good-natured yells of protest rang out as a player thumped the table lightly in exasperation at a previously unnoticed blunder. Meanwhile, other players waiting for the next round to start begin engaging in a discussion over the various opening systems, with more experienced players giving demonstrations to beginners.

As the next round began, however, players from both sides of the room gradually descended into focused silence. Now, the only noise came from the chess clocks and the movement of the chess pieces. The remaining three (out of five) rounds saw bold moves and significant blunders alike being made, but the easy energy of the players and Chess members lightened the tension lingering after each game, and proved that while Chess is usually viewed as a dull activity, it is really anything but.

Rankings:

1st: BW

2nd: MR

3rd: BB

4th: HH

5th: MT

Improvisation and Assorted Theatre Games (organised by Raffles Players): So You Think You Can Play (With Hearts)? 

By Kuang Shane Qi (19A13A)

Photo courtesy of Amy Lin (19A01B) from Raffles Photographic Society

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The TSD opened its doors to the motley group of participants, its shadowy interior dimly lit and vaguely menacing. Those with prior drama experience immediately made themselves at home, settling into the black box as easily as the Players did. Those unfamiliar with theatre hung back, perhaps a little nervous. However, this was soon to change.

The participants were immediately thrown into the thick of warm-ups, including theatre classics such as Splat Bang and Hoo Ha Hee. These games are not for the faint-hearted, and some participants’ aggressive responses left even the Players in fear. Tongue twisters were equally intense, and even the most precise speakers made amusing slip ups.

The highlight, however, was the improvised performances. Each house was given a scenario  (e.g “Raffles Reality TV”, “A Singaporean Fairytale”) and three prompts, their only instruction being “go wild”. The final performances were creative, dynamic, and incredibly entertaining, often incorporating unabashed romance as well as snarky references to RI school culture. All houses fought a bitter battle to bedazzle the judges, but if the participants’ raucous peals of laughter were anything to go by, it didn’t really matter who won or lost in the end.  

Rankings:

1st: BB

2nd: HH

3rd: MR

4th: BW

5th: MT

Water Polo: A Splashing Good Time

By Nicole Chan (19S05A)

Photo courtesy of Andrew Yap (19S06Q) from Raffles Photographic Society

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Despite the sweltering heat of a late afternoon, the teams at the Water Polo TRG last Thursday were full of energy and an enthusiasm that was mirrored by the spectators in the stands, especially during the final games.

Though the players were mostly new to Water Polo, many were athletes who already possessed some basic skills required for the sport, such as hand-eye coordination and strong swimming ability. Knifing through the water, hurling shot after shot into the goalpost (and often over it), they appeared almost as at ease in the water as on land. Those not playing took advantage of their break times to practise their passing and shooting by the side. From the way players and even spectators made a beeline for the scoreboard after every round to scrutinize the current placings, it was clear that every team intended to claim victory for themselves.

While the games were short but intense, with a few getting heated at times, the atmosphere was largely light-hearted. Most teams had great camaraderie, being made up of friends, and those who were strangers warmed up to each other quickly enough. Even those from different teams were friendly towards each other, in a strong show of sportsmanship. In the end, though there were frustrated yells and muttered grumblings, it was still laughter and banter that dominated the pool.

Rankings:

1st: MR

2nd: MT

3rd: BW

4th: BB

5th: HH

Track & Field: Run Fast, Fly Free 

By Aaron Tan (19A01B)

Photo courtesy of Dylan Siew (19S06E) from Raffles Photographic Society

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A snap of the clapper, and they’re off. In a burst of adrenaline, the runners surge forward, dart-straight down the track, and within seconds they are done, heaving, sweat-soaked under their exertion and the afternoon sun. “And in first place… I… actually don’t know,” admits the emcee to laughter from the stands. It’s close. As the referees consult the timekeepers, the next set of athletes prepare for their run.

Tracing its roots to Olympia, this storied sporting event saw its latest local iteration in the form of the Team Raffles Games, held across two days. Cheered on by their peers, our athletes gave their all in the various track and field events, with HH emerging as the overall champions. Various CCAs also participated in the much-anticipated inter-CCA relay — with Rugby taking home the gold.

Overall Rankings (spread over 2 days):

1st: HH

2nd: BW

3rd: BB

4th: MR

5th: MT


This concludes Week 1 of Team Raffles Games. Keep your eyes peeled for what went down in Week 2!

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