By Yu Jiawei (20S03J), Ashlyn Poon (20S06Q), and Gladys Chia (20S03G)
Raffles Netball: we are known for being noisy wherever we are. You can hear us singing or bantering in the cages or the benches (aka the netball table) before training begins, dancing very loudly in the cages for warm-up and having numerous chill runs after training sessions! Our screams can be heard miles away from the toilets during our ice bath after matches and even our day-to-day ‘hello’s around school are jarring.
But our noisiness is nothing but a reflection of the strong bond between each and every member of the team. Raffles Netball consists of a humble 14 people in both J1 and J2, making us one of the smallest sports CCAs in RI. However, our small number only contributes to the closeness of the team, and we strongly believe in “small but fierce”. These strong bonds extend past our 2 years in RI, where seniors that have graduated still come down to support the RI team whenever they are free.
Our teachers-in-charge are Ms Deborah Koh, Ms Shafa and Mr Chan Kuang Wen. Our coach is Mr Goh (aka Jiaolian) and our strength and conditioning (SNC) coach is Coach Nithiya (aka Coachie).
Every year, we take part in the A-Division National School Netball Games, and last year we placed 2nd! That season was a very memorable one as we started the season on a very shaky start, whereby in the first round we already found ourselves playing by goal difference (which only happens when three teams are tied). Despite facing many challenges, our team spirit never faltered throughout the season. We treated every match as if it was our last and fought really hard for every game. We slowly improved and eventually made it to finals, fighting for the Champion title. In the end, when we placed 2nd, we were disappointed with the results, but the journey was the most valuable takeaway.
Our achievements never come easy and we always strive to do better. We have our opportunities to improve in training, which take place thrice a week during season and twice a week off-season. We work on our movements and our skills during court training, which eventually helps meld us into a team on court. Strength training conditions our bodies so that we are able to perform on court to the best of our abilities. Raffles Netballers usually have prior experience in the sport, so we aim high—for the gold.
We train hard, but we also have fun. Training comes with bits of bloopers and we always find joy in each other’s company, be it playing frisbee or dancing to songs. We often go out for dinners and study dates and have netball camps. This March, we will be going on our long-awaited, biennial trip to Sydney, where we will be training and playing friendly matches against the teams there. It is also a time for the team to forge and strengthen bonds, and to get closer to each other.
So, what kind of person will thrive in our CCA? Here is a checklist of attributes that will ensure you will be able to grow both in terms of skill and character if you are looking to join Raffles Netball:
- Willing to put in 101% in everything they do
- Having commitment to the team
- Willing to take in advice and be vocal with your views
- Knowing when to have fun and when to be serious
- Knowing how to give/take constructive criticism
- Accountability for each training session
Trust us, you will not regret your decision of joining the Raffles Netball family!