By Shermaine Lim (22S03N)
Photos courtesy of Raffles Photographic Society.
If you were to google the definition of tenpin bowling, you’d find the result to be extremely insufficient in its description. Not for its lapses in technicality, but for its mistaken emphasis on the individuality of the sport, which was overridden by the immense team spirit displayed by Raffles Tenpin Bowling.
On 10th May, the team gathered at Superbowl, Safra Mount Faber for their final event—the Quartets. Having competed in the singles and doubles events beforehand, the seasoned players entered the match with not just trepidation, but heavy emotions: for the Y6s, this match signified their last match together.
Beneath the nervous tension that saturated the air, there was a strong sense of camaraderie among the bowlers. Clad in their black jerseys and coordinated green masks, each bowler entered as more than just an individual member of a unit, but as a team. While waiting for the lanes to be prepared, the bowlers took the opportunity to capture a few team snapshots together, documenting those precious moments in time.
“I think everyone was pretty excited that it was a competition day, and we were all gunning for first place in the team event. Though it would be our last day of competition with the seniors, something a little bit more mellow and sad, I think all of us managed to push it aside and focus on the task ahead of us.”Jeremy Ling (23S03A)
Once ready, the bowlers entered the alley. With every concern amplified in the presence of other competitors and match supporters, each bowler was reminded of their fight. For Jeriel Lam (22S07A), this match was a chance for redemption, following the previous events in which he felt he had underperformed. “I didn’t bowl as well in the past two events, so I really wanted to give it my all for the last A div[ision] event I’ll be competing in.”
As part of a long-standing tradition, the team gathered in front of their lanes, huddled together in a tight circle to exchange their last words of encouragement, before ending it off with a resounding rendition of the Raffles Unite cheer.
Prior to the commencement of the competition, each team was given 5 minutes to test out their lanes, acclimatising to the oil patterns that differ ever so slightly. For girls’ captain Nicole Tan (22S03Q), one of her main fears was that of not being able to adapt to the lane conditions beforehand, and thus this was a crucial period of time for everyone. Amidst the cacophony of collapsing pins, the Raffles Bowlers kept their cool, maintaining a calm and collected demeanour as they began shooting their shots (literally), with some even managing to score strikes within their first few throws.
Before long, the highly-anticipated match began.
In the neighbouring lanes was one of the fiercest competitors in the school circuit: ACSI. The flurry of activity blurred amidst the intense atmosphere, as each school rallied to cheer on their teams. In their teams of 4, the bowlers took turns stepping up to the lane to deliver their winning shots.
Time is relative, and for the bowlers who nervously anticipate the trajectories of their ball as it cruises down the lane, that momentary lapse seems like an infinity. That torturous moment of anticipation ends only with the reverberating clatter of pins, signalling a small win that will elicit triumph from not just the bowler, but their team around them.
One of the highlights of the quartet event was the astounding 8 strike streak scored by Jethro Lim (23S06T). “I was in the zone, so I didn’t think too much about maintaining the streak”, he commented. Bowling has always been a sport of skill and tenacity, but due respect should be paid to the mental strength involved as well.
For Jeremy Ling (2203A), “staying calm both before and during a competition is essential in bowling,” and hence, he has to be very conscious of his feelings, and calm himself down as soon as possible if he does get jittery or anxious.
Beyond mental agility, physical stamina also played a key role in the whole event; The duration of the game had stretched on beyond 2 hours, with each team having to bowl continuously throughout the event. With the adrenaline and cheers spurring the players on, they seem unfazed by the daunting physical challenge, instead showing a steely determination to perform to their best. In the end, the whole event ended with a team of extremely exhausted, but fulfilled, satisfied, and sentimental players, with emotions hitting a high when everyone gathered for a final round of the Unite cheer.
There is always more than meets the eye. Behind every cheer, lies the camaraderie built through many team dinners. Behind every strike, countless hours of relentless practice. And behind every bowler, their unwavering team.
Raffles Press extends our heartfelt congratulations to Tenpin Bowling for their spectacular performance in this year’s A divisions.
A Division Boys Singles:
- Champion: Joshua Yeo Yuan Kang (23S06N)
- Second Runner Up: Ray Ng Jun Yuan (22S06Q)
A Division Girls Singles:
- Third Runner Up: Danielle Tam Jia Qi (23S03C)
A Division Boys Doubles:
- Third Runner Up: Joshua Yeo Yuan Kang (23S06N) and Ray Ng Jun Yuan (22S06Q)
A Division Girls Doubles:
- Second Runner up: Lim Wan Ling (23S03Q) and Danielle Tam Jia Qi (23S03C)
A Division Boys Quartets:
- Third Runner Up: Jeremy Ling Keng Yuen (23S03A), Jovan Tay Kai Jie (23S03G), Joshua Yeo Yuan Kang (23S06N) and Ray Ng Jun Yuan (22S06Q)
A Division Girls Quartets:
- Second Runner Up: Nicole Tan Sin Min (22S03Q), Cheah Jing Qian (22S03R), Lim Wan Ling (23S03Q) and Danielle Tam Jia Qi (23S03C)
Overall Boys: Second Runner Up
Overall Girls: First Runner Up