By Xu Han (Boys’ Captain), Jade Ng (Girls’ Captain), Zennieve Tan Shiqi (Girls’ Vice Captain), Alvin Au (Boys’ Vice Captain)
The atmosphere freezes as everyone holds their breath. The final point. The point that would earn us victory. The point that would allow us to stand the highest on the podium. The ball is served and it flashes back and forth, with both players keeping up with immense speed, reflexes and agility. With the final swing, the Rafflesian puts all his strength onto the ball. One bounce on the other side of the table, and the ball lands on the floor. The stadium erupts into chaos and deafening cheers as his teammates rush into the court, embracing the player with such enthusiasm that makes it hard for him to breathe.
That scenario, right there, is what awaits you if you join our CCA. Table Tennis, also known as “ping pong”, is an exciting, fast-paced sport in which either two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table using small wooden rackets. The widely-known sport takes place on a hard table divided by a net, and you might even have gotten your own shot at it during PE lessons! However, while it might look and sound simple, table tennis requires high levels of precision, speed as well as split-second decision-making when played at a higher level, making it a rather difficult sport to master.
The RI table tennis team is a close-knit community of 14 players (6 from the boys’ team and 8 from the girls’ team) who are all equally committed to disciplined and intensive training sessions. With the unwavering support of our teachers and coaches, we strive to develop each member to their highest potential. Above all, it is our utmost priority to provide a safe, warm and conducive environment for each and every member to play together and grow. We strive to build a family which recognizes the universal importance of not only celebrating each other’s achievements, but also supporting and uplifting each other during tough moments, both in and outside the sport.
Of course, all our results are a reflection of our hard work during training. During the Nationals season, we train thrice a week, while we train twice a week during post-Nationals seasons. Our training takes place on Mondays and Fridays, from 5.00pm to 7:30pm, with extra training on Wednesdays during the competition season at the Y14 gymnasium. With the help of both our experienced coaches, Coach Zhang Jun Ming as well as Coach Tay Jit Kiat, every training session holds something for each individual to take back home, be it a new set of skills, or minor improvements to perfect a skill. Our experienced teacher-mentors, Mr Chan Joon Kiat, Ms Lin Shirou Cheryl and Mrs Katherine Ng have also been there to support our journey and unleash each of our fullest potentials as players.
In the 2022 National School Games, both the girls’ and the boys’ teams achieved commendable results. Our hard work has paid off as the boys’ team clinched the champion title, and the girls have clinched the 1st runner-up, after a narrow loss in the finals. Despite the slight disappointment faced by the girls’ team, they have given their all and are determined to clinch the gold medal in the next NSG. Most importantly, the team cherished the bonds that were made, and the ups and downs in our journey towards victory have strengthened the team further.
In 2023, our team aims to not only achieve double champions for both the girls’ and boys’ teams in the National School Games, but also support each other in our own individual table tennis journeys. In the face of challenges, we will never give up, but instead, we will work together as one united team as we build on one another’s strengths to minimize our weaknesses.
Beyond the regular training sessions, we also engage in bonding activities to boost the team’s morale. We often come together for team dinners and get together before training to do our work together to foster stronger ties between team members. While there hasn’t been a CCA camp due to COVID-19 in the past couple of years, we aim to host one in the upcoming year.
In conclusion, we feel that the various holistic experiences obtained from being a part of our CCA entail a well-rounded development of the individuals, and your journey will surely be one that you will not regret. So join us and embark on your memorable, once-in-a-lifetime journey with us in Table Tennis.