By Randall Neo (Captain)
Founded in 1924, Raffles Swimming is among the oldest and most established CCAs in Raffles Institution. Some notable alumni from the Raffles Institution Swim Team (RIST) include Goh Chok Tong, the former Prime Minister of Singapore between 1990 and 2004, and Quah Ting Wen, Olympian and 26-time gold medalist at the Southeast Asian Games between 2007 and 2022.
Swimming at a competitive level requires immense focus and self-discipline as it is, for the most part, an individual sport. Hence, we do not regularly conduct internal training: swimmers instead train in their respective external clubs at their own capacity, attending as many training sessions as they are capable of. As such, in order to achieve one’s goals in this sport, one must have the drive to be present for practices and the determination to give their all, as only one can hold oneself accountable for one’s training.
Despite training in different clubs, we still gather on a regular basis for team bonding activities, comprising monthly centralized training sessions, Values in Action activities, and team gatherings. As a result, we are just as united and close to one another as other CCAs that train together.
In partnership with AquaTech Swimming (ATS), one of Singapore’s leading swimming programmes, Raffles Swimming holds combined training sessions once a month before the competitive season to practice essential racing skills. Apart from the compulsory combined training, swimmers have agency over their training schedule and commitments year-round. For swimmers who are currently not a part of any swim team, ATS kindly offers a complimentary training programme for members of RIST to sharpen up their skills.
Some of our favourite moments as a team are at the National School Games when our entire team comes together to race our hearts out for Team Raffles. After which, we gather as a team for a hearty team dinner and bonding session. Some of us have accomplished exemplary results in 2022 on both a national and regional level at prestigious events, such as the 2022 SEA GAMES in Hanoi and the Junior Pan-Pacific Championships in Hawaii. Despite our focus on achieving excellence in the pool, we do not forget to add fun to the mix. We have many engaging team bonding activities and Values In Action opportunities in store for our team members so that we get the chance to take a break once in a while.
All it takes to join our team is to have a background in competitive swimming and official timings from past competitions that meet the required National School Games qualifying times. We hope to see you at the CCA trials!