By Satyaprakashan (21A13B), Boys’ Vice-Captain, Carrie Kam (21S03M), Girls’ Captain, Iva Idris (21S03G), Girls’ Vice-Captain, and Reanne Lim (21S03F), Girls’ Vice-Captain
Hockey. What exactly is it—floorball on the field? Ice hockey, minus the ice? Being a lesser-known sport, hockey may seem daunting at first glance. Such apprehension increases when one catches a glimpse of players decked out in their full protective gear, shin guards and gloves galore.
But fear not, for many of our members started out just like you—without prior experience of any sort. There are truly very few prerequisites for this sport. One does not need to have come from a sports CCA or have hockey experience, for stamina and skills can all be developed eventually. All that is required is a positive training attitude, namely enthusiasm, the willingness to try new skills and learn from mistakes, and a spirit of excellence.
Now, let’s delve into the details. Trainings typically take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm, either on our school pitch or on full-sized pitches at Delta, Sengkang and POSEB. Training tapers off to two sessions per week when we are in off-season, and eventually stops a few weeks prior to CTs and promos. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, the frequency and location of trainings are subject to change.
Training usually starts off with warm ups—comprising running, strength, and conditioning exercises—before proceeding with basic stickwork practices such as passing and dribbling. We would then continue with drills that familiarise us with various situations we may encounter in matches. To end off, we would have mini playoffs among ourselves.
Although the NSGs were cancelled this year, Raffles Hockey has traditionally done well for the Inter-Schools ‘A’ Division Championships, with the boys’ team emerging as champions and the girls’ team achieving third runners-up just last year. (But keep your heads up, for there is still a possibility of NSGs happening next year!!). Barring further complications that may arise from COVID-19, one can also look forward to hosting a Hockey Carnival in March, where students from different primary schools come together and compete among themselves.
The journey to becoming a hockey player will not be a smooth one. In fact, it may involve lots of blood, sweat and tears (happy tears too!). However, at the end of the day, one would walk away with an immense sense of satisfaction and no regrets. The pitch would eventually be a place you can call home, just as your team would become your family, one which would stick together throughout your two years in Raffles.
All in all, hockey is about challenging yourself and working together as a team. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so be sure to come down for trials! For all you know, this journey may be your best one yet.