CCA Previews ’22: Swimming

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By Bonnie Yeo Lu-Anne (22S06O), Captain, Yvette Teo (22S06H), Vice-Captain, Leon Tay (22S06O), Captain, Luke Sin (22S06H), Vice-Captain

“The best way to legally get brown hair”. That’s Swimming for you.

But even if brown hair isn’t your thing, we urge you to read on! Because there are still a multitude of reasons why Swimming is a CCA you should seriously consider. 

Swimming is largely an individual sport as we train and compete independently. However, it is more than that in many ways. Though we plunge into the pool as an individual, ultimately we are racing for our team and it is more than a mere competition; it is a test of our character and resilience. The buildup of these values and skills starts from training.

At 5:30 am, most students are still fast asleep. Swimmers, on the other hand, have to brave the icy cold waters, plunging into the pool to kick off yet another training session. It may sound tough, but the strong team morale cheers us up and encourages us to push through. Ultimately, we love the sport because of the satisfaction and purpose it gives us. 

Swimming has instilled in us discipline. After all, it is not just about waking up early for morning training, but about the amount of time we spend in the pool as a whole. Swimmers clock in an average of 6-7 training sessions a week during competition season under their respective clubs. While morning sessions start early at 5:30pm so swimmers can get to school on time, the afternoon sessions are usually between 4pm and 7pm. 

But if all this seems daunting, fret not! Swimming may sound like a high-commitment CCA from the onset, but we would like to emphasise that we embrace swimmers from all competitive levels. This means that we want to support you wherever you may be in your swimming career, even though you may be clocking 1-2 training sessions a week. In the end, it is up to the swimmer to decide how to portion their time and determine their level of dedication to the sport.

And now, you may be thinking, why does Swimming sound like such a flexible CCA? That’s because swimmers train with the clubs they have already been registered under, and hence have their own respective coaches. This, too, is a characteristic unique to Swimming, where swimmers are free to plan their own training schedule according to what they deem is most suitable. 

Swimmers are also free to vary the frequency of their training sessions throughout the year. For example, if competition season is nearing, swimmers may want to ramp up their training intensity. If examinations are approaching, however, swimmers are free to lower their training frequency to make more time for revision. As can be seen, Swimming confers a great deal of trust and responsibility in the swimmer to plan their time and juggle both sports and academics. Learning how to manage one’s time is important in achieving even greater independence, and Swimming gives ample opportunity for this. 

Although we train at our own clubs, it is important for us to train together so we can bond as a team. Combined training sessions are usually held on every other Wednesday morning (5:30am-7:10am), from the start of the year until the National School Games (Although this routine has been put on hold for the time being due to COVID restrictions). This is when all the swimmers have the chance to train together and play games at the RI pool.

While the many intensive training sessions and competition experiences build resilience and perseverance, being a part of a team is what helps boost the motivation and drive to keep going. The Raffles Swim Team consists of swimmers who train under their respective clubs. Our batch is a tight-knit group consisting of 11 players (4 girls and 7 boys), so should you decide to join the Raffles Swimming Team, we will be more than happy to have you!

Every Rafflesian swimmer will testify that the sport has played a big role in their life, and has taught them numerous life lessons. There definitely will be ups and downs, but having a team helps us to experience both the good and bad times together. It enhances our experience and makes our journey as swimmers all the more enjoyable. With that said, we sincerely urge you to consider embarking on this journey along with us!

To join us, do note that a background in competitive swimming is necessary (Yes, sorry! We also require official swim timings from previous competitions that meet the qualifying time for National School Games). So long as you meet the following requirements, please do consider swimming with us and we look forward to seeing you soon!

*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.

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