Ever wanted to stay active but finding it difficult to cope with schoolwork and various other commitments? Looking for a CCA that allows you to have fun with friends while picking up self-defence tips? Look no further, for Raffles Taekwondo is just the CCA for you!
Cricket – A gentleman’s game played by millions all over the globe, and one of Raffles Institution’s oldest CCAs. With 11 players on each team, this game is truly the epitome of a team sport with players batting, bowling and fielding in tandem to achieve the common goal of victory.
Written by Shikhar Gupta (15S06M) and Lorraine Fong (15A01C)
Photos by Isaac Siaw (15S03Q)
Lift, breathe, swing, release. Strike.
The electric atmosphere at Orchid Bowl in Orchid Country Club was unmistakable for anything but the pride of the various supporters for their schools, and there was never a moment when the cheering stopped. With the 34th Council pouring on the support, the A-Division bowlers of Raffles Institution bowled their way to strong finishes.
Surprisingly, the boys were not always in command, as one would surmise looking at their performance on 29th April at Orchid Bowl. They had been trailing Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) for the first two days of the tournament, but pushed hard to claim the lead on the third day. Following that they gave no quarter on the final day, and cruised to victory, claiming the overall school champions spot.
Speaking to Press, team captain Jevarn Li said “I’m really happy and proud. We lost to ACJC last year by one point, and I am proud that we managed to win it back by a larger margin.”
Both he and his teammates were clearly elated at their success. The team comprising Marcus Seah, Ian Siow, Ng Kai Xiang and Jevarn came in first for the Team event, Jevarn and Marcus came in 2nd runner’s up for the Doubles event, and Jevarn clinched the overall all events gold with a 29 pin lead.
The girls also performed strongly, however they missed out on top spot for overall schools, losing narrowly to the ACJC girls. They had taken the lead on the first day, but after ACJC had wrested it back on the next, they were left playing catch-up.
Cheritta Low, captain of the RI female bowling squad reflected, “We trained very very hard this year, it seemed very promising, but luck wasn’t on our side. However, I am very proud of my team for persevering through trainings, and throughout the four days of the tournament and never giving up.”
The team of Joey Yeo, Kristin Quah, Cheritta Low and Darolyn Tan came in first for the team event, but their performance was not enough to take the overall girls’ champions position. Also a national bowler, Joey Yeo performed spectacularly. She and Jamie Lim came in first and first runner’s up for the Singles event, respectively.
In the Doubles event, the pairs of Joey and Kristin, placed first, while Darolyn and Cheritta came in second. Not only did Joey win the high game award for two separate events, scoring pinfalls of 248 and 247 during the Singles and Team event, she also clinched the overall girls gold with a 326 pin lead in what was a seemingly effortless performance.
Clearly the star of the show, Joey Yeo felt satisfied with her performance, and thanked the team for their never ending support, camaraderie, and perseverance. The bowling teacher-in-charge, Mr Lee Chee Keong was also happy with both the boys’ and girls’ performances. When asked to sum up his feelings about the tournament, his reply was simply “Good job.”
When asked about the future of RI Bowling, Cheritta was pensive. “Seeing a lot of our juniors train for the past half a year or so, I’ve seen them improve a lot and I am very proud of them. And though we placed 2nd, there is still a chance to fight. There is no definite ‘winner’ or ‘loser’, it can only go up from here,” she said.
All five teams were also buoyed by the constant support by the Rafflesian councilors,who themselves were enjoying the action. One of the supporters even wanted in on it, saying that “everyone [wanted] to bowl, because it [was] so fun.” The bowlers never forgot the supporters even throughout the whole four hours of the final day, acknowledging their cheers constantly.
Amidst all the feelings about the game, Rebecca Wong felt wistful that her competitive days were probably over. “I’ll probably and hopefully continue [bowling] as a leisure sport, and it’s so sad as this is our last major competition,” she told Press.
The fight is not yet over for Joey, Cheritta, Jevarn and Kai Xiang, though. The four of them ride high on confidence into the Masters Finals, to be held on the 3rd of May at Orchid Bowl. The event will be starting at 8 AM, so do hop by to offer your support if you can! All of us here at Raffles Press would like to congratulate everyone, and the best of luck to those competing this Saturday.
Written by Ching Ann Hui (15S03A), Michelle Choy (15S05A), and Tan Su (15S07A)
Months of intense training – including coming to school before assembly to train – boiled down to 2 days of finals for Raffles Swim. As Madeline Quek put it, the trainings were “tiring physically, but worth it”. Looking at the results now, it is clear that it was indeed worth it – with the A division girls clinching 1st overall and A division boys being awarded first runners up.
It was a close fight and tensions were rising with RI’s rival schools ACS(I) and ACJC proving to be strong competitors. The coach of RI swim Mr Lim Yao Xiang commented early on that there was no clear indication on which school would emerge victorious, and that it might even “boil down to the last relay.” Despite having “no national swimmers on the team”, the stellar achievements stood as testament to the sheer grit and hard work of our swimmers.
The girl’s segment of the competition began with our girls team placing in the top 3 for almost all races – a result consistent with what we have seen in previous years.
For the 50m Freestyle race, tensions rose as Song Ai Vee went neck and neck with Annis Loy from Temasek Junior College. The two eventually tied for second place after an intense fight, with Nicole Ong Ting Zhi racing in a close third just milliseconds after. Nicole Ong also bagged a bronze medal for the 50m backstroke.
Similar victories were seen in the 200m freestyle where Dayna Ang and Christiane Tan placed 1st and 2nd respectively. Richelle Ang also made a podium finish – clinching third place in the 200m individual medley. Rachel Lee put up a strong showing with two wins: 3rd in the 50m breaststroke as well as in the 100m breaststroke.
Madeline Quek was another serial medallist with her placing of 2nd in the 50m backstroke and butterfly. Over at the 200m breaststroke, Grace Tan placed 3rd and Gayle Tan placed a commendable 2nd despite facing strong competitors from ACJC.
The 400m freestyle elicited cheers from the Rafflesian crowd as Teo Jing Wen, Kimberly Yeo and Chloe Tan all placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, sweeping the awards for that category.
A breathtaking dash to the finish in the 200m breaststroke event led to Samantha Yeo setting a new competition record, clocking in at 2.34.17 – almost 3 whole seconds faster than the previous record.
Samantha again clinched first position for the Girls 100m Breaststroke, with a record breaking timing of 1:11.65, 1.06 seconds faster than the previous record. Unfortunately, the result was subsequently disqualified due to her doing a double fly kick.
Despite that, spirits soared as the much-anticipated 4x50m Freestyle Relay saw our girls relay team (Samantha Yeo, Teo, Jing Wen Shan, Madeline Quek and Song Ai Vee) bring a roaring victory to RI by coming in first with a timing of 1:50.44 9 in the 4×50 Meter Freestyle relay. The 4x50m Medley relay had a similar showing, with the girls securing the overall gold medal for our team.
Victory was never a certain prospect with our boys team facing up against strong rivals such as ACJC, ACSI and Singapore Sports School (who had home advantage). Swim team coach Mr Lim Yao Xiang had realistic expectations of the boys team, remarking that “with no national swimmers in the team i feel that second is already a very good result.”
In the 200m freestyle race – a race primarily between RI, ACSI and ACJC, Andy Lo was able to clinch the gold medal, beating ACSI by 1.23 seconds. The other 2 RI swimmers,, Aloysius Tan and Bryan Tan came in 4th and 5th respectively. Other notable races include the 100m breaststroke where Alexander Tseng Wei Chen, Teo Cheng Quan Edmund and Lee Teck Fang Kenneth came in 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. Despite the stiff competition for the 100m backstroke, where a new record was set by one of our arch competitors, Andy Lo and Joshua Koh fought to clinch the 2nd and 5th respectively. Joshua Koh also took home a bronze for the 200m Backstroke.
Quan Ren Barry Koh fought hard to finish 5th in the 200m butterfly race. In the first and second laps, he was placed 6th with timings of 1:07.18, 1:44.4 respectively. However, at the last lap, after putting up a valiant fight, he finally emerged 5th, with the timing of 2 2:23.54.
The 4x50m freestyle and medley relays were both highly anticipated races. For the freestyle race, our team fought hard but ACSI took the lead and clinched gold by a narrow 3-second difference. Ultimately the Raffles Swim team came in second for both races, making the school extremely proud. The team consisted of Bradley Samual, Windley, Teo Chang Quan Edmund, Lee Teck Fang Kenneth and Tan Xuan Fu.
The fight to the finish is never easy, just as the race to the finals was tough for the Raffles Swim team. However, as A-division girls captain Kathleen Leong said: We really hope that the raffles legacy will be able to continue for many years to come and that everybody will be able to swim for pride, glory, honour – Raffles!
Written by Lu Jinyao (14A01D), Wilson Chan (15A01C), Sharvani Kim (15A01D) and Kang Yi Xi (15S03N)
Having racked up a laudable medal tally of two golds last year, the A Division table tennis team faced much pressure to match their track record. Despite formidable competition from traditional opponents Hwa Chong Institution and Nanyang Junior College, our Raffles paddlers succeeded in living up to expectations and walked away once again with a hard-earned haul of two gold medals.
A Division Girls
The contest between our girls’ team and its counterpart from Hwa Chong Institution was a veritable clash of two titans, with tensions running high between supporters from both schools seated right next to each other in the stands. The first game was arguably the most nerve-racking game for the girls as it was far from an one-sided affair, featuring impressive manoeuvres from both paddlers that neutralized each other’s temporary leads straight till the fifth set. Raffles player Lam Teng Si started strong, taking down the first set by a clear margin with a score of 11-3. However, a series of inadvertent errors by Teng Si gave her Hwa Chong opponent the opportunity to triumph the second set with a score of 11-4. The third and fourth sets continued to be tight races that plunged the match’s outcome into uncertain waters. Having been bested in the third set, Teng Si came back from the time-out invigorated and denied Hwa Chong a premature win in the fourth set. Eventually, Teng Si’s adroit control of the ball played a major role in the opponent’s fatal misfire that sent the ball flying past the table in the fifth set, securing the first crucial victory for Raffles.
The triumphant first game was a compelling morale boost for Raffles, as our paddlers continued to edge out their rivals. The second game was filled with close calls, with neither the Raffles duo of Cheryl Tang and Charlene Koh nor their counterparts being able to take the lead.
In contrast, the third game was characterised by Lim Yi Xuan’s aggressive play, which dominated the table and left her opponent little space for retaliation. Yi Xuan won the first set with a decisive victory of 11-5. The second round was a close call, with the two neck and neck with a score of 11-11 when her opponent’s ball missed the table to bring the score to 12-11. With one more point necessary to win the set, Yi Xuan sent the ball expertly over the net, where it deflected off the opponent’s bat and flew into the fence next to the table. The third set was an overwhelming victory for her, concluding with a score of 11-1. This spectacularly-executed third game eventually completed the third straight victory of the Raffles team, bringing back the much-coveted gold medal amidst thunderous applause from the Rafflesian crowd.
A Division Boys
Compared to the girls, the boys’ contest was much of a safe course. Rafflesian Xiao Peng declared Raffles domination from the first set onwards, leading 8-0 within five minutes into the first set. His quick reflexes were the determining factor that enabled him to gain significant leads over his opponent, who made multiple slip-ups as the increasingly widening score divide caused his confidence to gradually falter.
Perhaps having been galvanised by Xiao Peng’s excellent performance, Tsai Ren Jie and Alphonse Ang dealt rapid and successive attacks during the doubles game, enabling them to swiftly trounce their opponents in the first two sets. Despite making several inaccurate shots in the third set, our paddlers rose from those mistakes to take the second game.
The third match played by Oscar Chau was evidently the highlight of the boys’ contest. Unlike the previous smooth-sailing games, Oscar faced stiff competition from his NYJC opponent. The game was fraught with intense, fast-paced ball play, and the many high shots pulled off by both sides made for a breathtaking experience for spectators. Regrettably, Raffles ceded the game to NYJC by a slim margin as the Nanyang player took the last set. This defeat was a clear disruption to the plans of the boys’ team, who had expected a clean straight-three victory. When asked about his opinions on the game, Oscar expressed that the intensity of the game made it a dynamic and rewarding experience for both sides, and team captain Benjamin Ban acknowledged that “(the NYJC) team does have their strengths as well. Ultimately it was a good learning point for both.”
Fortunately, Raffles made a comeback during the final game as our Year 5 paddlers Chua Shao Shxuan and Liu Tian prevailed over their two opponents to obtain the crucial victory required for Raffles to win yet another gold medal. In the third and fourth sets, the NYJC players seemed to lose their resolve — having been disoriented by the repeated volleys of rapid shots and smashes sent by the Rafflesians, they were unable to put up a strong defence and consequently failed to obtain more than 3 points for both rounds.
Throughout the game, our Rafflesian supporters constantly tried to outdo our rival schools in the volume and enthusiasm of cheers, creating the an ear-ringing cacophony of hollers as our paddlers took the challenge head-on. The authors felt especially heartened upon hearing the spirited rendition of the Unite cheer after the championship. As player Cheryl Tang expressed her sincere thanks to all the supporters, the authors’ greatest takeaway was that no great sportsman can exist solely on his or her own. Mr Chan Joo Kiat, the teacher-in-charge of Table Tennis, evidently agreed with these sentiments, for he stated, “I think this has been a collective effort; the teachers, the coaches and the school have provided all the support.”
For the paddlers, the National Finals were a bittersweet experience indeed, for the competition’s end also marked the end of their journey in fighting for Raffles. ‘I’d trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday,’ shared Lam Teng Si. However, the authors are certain that the memories she carved with the team will never fade into the background of her life. On this note, the authors would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to the two victorious teams — for the drive, determination and passion with which they played for Raffles.