By Lim Jun Kai (22A01C), Captain, Jong Yik Kiat (22S06J), Vice-Captain, Elyse Chew Wan Rou (22S03P), Captain, Qiu Yahan Olivia (22S06), Vice-Captain
“TOK TOK TOK…”, the rally resonates in the multipurpose hall. The crowd roars in anticipation as the Rafflesian at the edge of the table tennis table swings his bat passionately at the ball fast approaching. With a final swing, he watched the ball dart across the table missing just an inch of the opponent’s bat. “TOK”, the whole stadium erupts into chaos. The sweet sound of victory echoes through the hall as the ball hits the ground. Before the player regains his composure, he is embraced by his enthusiastic teammates.
Table Tennis, also known as “ping pong”, is a fast-paced, exciting sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table using small wooden rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net.
Behind the spectacle of thrilling rallies that keeps you on the edge of your seats, lies a challenging juggling act; one in which precise skills and mental toughness are put to the test since every point is important to the game.
The biggest highlight for us every year is the annual National School Games (NSG) that typically spans 2 months, from March to April, where our players’ skills and techniques are put to the test and we fervently compete against players from JCs all over Singapore. Across the six batches of Raffles Table Tennis (Y1-6), we all work together as one Raffles team to strive towards our common goal of 6 Championships. In the 2019 NSG, both the RJTT boys’ and girls’ teams defended the Championship titles for the 16th and 9th year running respectively, clinching 5 out of 6 gold titles as one Raffles Table Tennis family.
However, the road to success is never a smooth-sailing one. In preparation for the highly anticipated NSG, we train thrice a week—Monday (6:00-8:00pm); Wednesday (1:00-4:00pm) and Friday (6:00-8:00pm) at the RI Gymnasium. We are very fortunate to have the amazing guidance of our wonderful & brilliant coaches (Coach Zhang Jun Ming and Coach Tay Jit Kiat) and support from our caring and inspiring teachers-in-charge (Ms Cheryl Lin Shi Rou, Mr Chan Joon Kiat, and Mrs Ng Chee Ying). These influential figures constantly provide us with invaluable advice, spurring us to improve ourselves and achieve our dreams and aspirations not just in the realm of Table Tennis, but in life as a whole. We are eternally grateful and heavily indebted to our outstandingly talented alumni who sacrifice their precious time out of their busy schedules to come back to school to spar with us.
Achievements aside, we believe that table tennis is not only about the competitions, but also about the friendships and camaraderie we forge through our blood, sweat & tears. Besides the intense but rewarding training sessions and competitions, the RJTT team regularly comes together for team lunches and dinners, as well as our annual CCA camp, farewell sleepover and chalet pre-Covid.
We are looking for anyone who has an interest and passion for the sport, preferably with some prior experience in table tennis. Table tennis improves reflexes, hand-eye coordination, mental alertness, and speed of movement. Other than improving our physical health, table tennis also increases concentration, boosts our mental fitness, and builds resilience. Table tennis offers great mind-body stimulation, aerobic exercise, and social interaction. Furthemore, unlike many sports, the overall risk for injury with table tennis is quite low. Table tennis helps you build strength, speed, and agility without risking serious injury.
If you join our CCA, we can assure you that you will feel this same rush of adrenaline and pride. Beyond personal strength, teamwork and camaraderie are key to our team’s victory. So if you are looking to challenge yourself and break past your mental and physical barriers, do consider joining us and you can look forward to an exciting and fruitful CCA journey!
*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.