By Denisa Armeilia Tami (20A13A), Girls’ Captain, Nikita Ong (20S03Q), Girls’ Vice-Captain, Nathanael Ng (20S06Q), Boys’ Captain, and Haziq B Roslan (20S03P), Boys’ Vice-Captain
Have you ever hung around the large basin of water at Kallang? Witnessed a few boats streamlining through the water, powered by some girls and boys rowing in unison? Ever wonder how that must feel? Well then, let us introduce you to the wonderful sport of Dragonboating and our family!
As expected from any sport, large amounts of time and dedication are poured into ensuring our performance as a crew is top-notch. Improving the synchronisation and speed of the boat cannot be achieved by just one or a few key rowers, but must come from the collective effort of everyone on the boat. As such, trainings take place three times a week, with one land training in the school gym and two water trainings at the Kallang Water Sports Centre. While training time is always maximised, rowers are also expected to do their own training at the gym on non-official training days to further maintain and develop their strength and stamina, especially during off-season.
This may sound daunting but it is exactly the frequency and intensity of the trainings that we go through together as a team that moulds us into a family. With the sun beating down relentlessly as we chant and row with all our might, no matter how much you may want to give up on the boat, the people around you—who are giving their best—become your motivation to push on just a little longer. It truly is not easy being a part of this family but it is the toughest of trainings that develop our discipline, tenacity and unity—key characteristics of our rowers.
One may start to think it would be near impossible to balance the different aspects of being a student as well as an athlete, but trust in our family, and we will surely never let you down. Despite our strict and disciplined exterior, which may come off as intimidating at first, everyone has fun together and we have each other’s backs. On the boat, we crack jokes to ensure we keep our spirits and morale high, while boisterous team dinners and rewarding moments post-training always put smiles on our faces, no matter how gruelling training might have been. While fitness is paramount to ensuring the boat glides, the team’s chemistry and dynamics are also key to ensuring a well-oiled boat.
Our trainings prepare us for the various Dragonboating competitions and events we attend. However, the highlight of every member’s journey in Raffles Dragonboating has to be the annual DBS Marina Regatta—where we face off against teams from other schools to showcase our year–long efforts. The competition takes place between the end of May and the start of June, and is the members’ final chance to perform before stepping down. Everyone gives everything they have for our race sets to ensure our hard work pays off.
Despite the rigorous training, as a developmental sport, we do not have overly ambitious prerequisites for joining the CCA. No matter the level of fitness you enter with, the team is with you every step of the way! We accept students of any background, as long as you are willing to put in the discipline, time, and effort to train hard for the betterment of yourself and the team. We seek rowers who will be highly committed to the CCA, with the drive to be their very best for the team. If you think you have what it takes, we welcome you to join our family! RAFFLES, ROW!