Category: CCA Previews 2014

CCA Preview’14: Recreational Badminton

The name RI is usually synonymous with competition. Rafflesians are encouraged to fight for the school, and display school pride. While certainly laudable, many-a-times, Rafflesians tend to get distracted from the true reason for why they fight: passion.

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You may have seen a few students playing badminton in the air-conditioned MPH to the tune of groovy music, or perhaps seen students carrying badminton racquets and chilling out in the canteen together. You may have been secretly envious of them. Well, there’s no need to, you can join them!

Recreational Badminton hearkens back to the soul of the sport – passion. The light-hearted sessions provide an environment that allows members to pursue their interest in badminton. Once every week, members gather after assembly  for 2 hours of immersion in one of Asia’s favorite sports.

Weekly training sessions are not Recre Badminton’s only fare. Members can look forward to friendlies with Recreational Badminton teams from other schools like AndersonJunior College and Hwa Chong Institution, in which they can join like-minded people in their favorite pastime.

Indeed, the only pre-requisite for joining the team is a strong interest in badminton. “Getting into this CCA is easy,” says Jillian Heng (13SO6B), “all you need to do is show your interest in the sport!” There are no nerve-wracking interviews, or tiresome tryouts. New members don’t even need to have touched a racquet before!

Not needing prior experience allows students from all ranges of skill levels to join and learn together. The absence of strong rivalry allows each individual member to develop his or her skills at a different pace. This dissuades relentless competition, yet fosters the love for the sport, while mainting an atmosphere which encourages camaraderie. Annabel Goh (13SO6B) says, “Because our practices are not as intense as competitive CCAs, the best thing about Recre Badminton is the bonding and sense of belonging that you get.”

One way in which the above is exemplified is in the school’s annual Inter-House Competition (IHC). In 2013, Recreational Badminton members had an opportunity to organize an engaging session of badminton for the rest of the institution that saw the bending of traditional badminton rules, putting a creative twist to the otherwise standard game of badminton. IHC Recreational Badminton saw teams of three play against each other, with two shuttlecocks in play at the same time, in an elimination mate– a form of organized chaos, if you will. Participant Lu Zhao Boyu (13A01D) says that “IHC Recre Badminton was one game which required utmost concentration and cooperation with your fellow team mates. It was an enjoyable process juggling two shuttlecocks and trying to stay focused.”

In essence, Raffles Recreational Badminton is about passion, friendships and lots of fun! “It is what a CCA should be; a time to de-stress and just have fun with friends who share the same love for badminton,” says Raphael Quek (12S03T). Indeed, the formula to an enriching CCA experience can be this simple. If you have the passion, join Recreational Badminton!

CCA Preview’14: Interact

I noticed that many of my close friends have been searching for a meaningful way to help serve the community as they transitioned into JC life. With various service opportunities available to students, you might wonder what distinguishes Interact from the rest. While there is no one clear answer, Interact does have a focus on direct service. In Interact, we believe that the face-to-face kindness one shares is an invaluable part of affecting the lives of others, and we carry this out in a multitude of ways.

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For starters, each Interactor commits to a weekly service session with one of our seven Service Centres (SC). These service opportunities range from providing primary school tuition to children to spending time with old folks to helping organize activities for the intellectually disabled. As Ying Yilun, one of our members puts it, “Weekly service is very meaningful because we get to directly impact the lives of our beneficiaries and create a sustained, long-term relationship with them.”

And don’t assume weekly service becomes mundane after a few months! If you feel like doing something fresh and extra special for your SC, resources are provided for you to do so. We encourage Interactors to take their own initiative in organizing mini-projects with their beneficiaries. In one instance, our members from Jamiyah SC organized a scrap-booking activity for the children to take a break from studying and reflect about their aspirations for the future. Interactors from SINDA SC, on the other hand, gave additional lessons on International History from 1900 (a certain club member loves History) and even dissecting fishes.

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Interactors conducting a lesson in our very own Biology Labs

We also organize various big events annually. Dine in the Dark, for example, in an event where we hold a dinner service for the public in pitch darkness, in effort to raise funds and awareness for the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH). In preparation for this, Interactors visited SAVH themselves to conduct interviews with the clients and understand more about how daily life is like for a visually handicapped person (you can see the publicity video below)

These events do not only give members a chance to gain experiences in organizing large scale events, they are also a means of reaching out and serving the greater community in a meaningful way.

And if you’re wondering why we’re called Interact, it actually stands for International Action! That means that we shouldn’t just serve the local community. This year, interact led the fundraising efforts for typhoon victims in the Philippines. Moreover, we have an International Understanding trip held overseas every year. In 2013, we went to Cambodia for a week to serve at UNACAS, an orphanage in Phnom Penh.

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Helping build infrastructure in Cambodia

Another great thing about being an Interactor is that you’re joining a network of people with similar passions towards serving the community. Through the several service opportunities provided exclusively for the club, you get to make closer relationships with not only your schoolmates, but also the youth from various organisations and schools. One of our members, Benedict Lee, says: “As an introvert, being in Interact has made me more open towards other people and even more sympathetic towards the people you serve.”

With about a total of 160 friendly Interactors, your time in JC is bound to be a more meaningful journey. You’ll surely learn a thing or two from people of all walks of life during the projects in-store for the club. So as long as you have the heart for the community and the will to lead in serving, your membership in Interact promises to be more than just mere lines on paper.

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CCA Preview ’14: Touch Rugby

Touch [tuhch]
to give a slight tap or pat to with the hand, finger, etc.; strike or hit gently or lightly.

Rug·by [ruhg-bee]
a form of football that differs from soccer in freedom to carry the ball and is characterized chiefly by continuous action.

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TAP and GO

We are all familiar with rugby. But what is touch rugby? In the simplest terms, we could say that it is a less violent version of rugby. Unlike conventional rugby, touch is not a contact sport but a limited-contact sport, with the tackling of opposing players replaced by a touch. You don’t have to be the toughest person because you can play touch without fear of major injury.

RUCK [ruhk]
an attacking move intended to advance the ball up the field.

Training sessions are held twice a week in the evenings. Our coach, Rachel, served as Singapore’s Women Under 18s team captain in 2009 and is an alumni of Raffles Touch. Not only is she experienced, she is capable of relating to us and has fully committed herself to bringing out the best in each of us.

During training, we develop our perseverance – both physical and mental – through activities that challenge our stamina. The idea of pushing yourself until you are exhausted may not be all that appealing, but the satisfaction that comes afterward is all-rewarding. Of course, one of the highlights of our trainings is learning and mastering ball skills, and crafting strategies that are unique and most suitable for our team. Nothing is standard (other than the rules, of course), which means you can decide exactly how you want to play; You don’t have to follow the seniors’ style, nor do you have to follow the national teams’. It is your game and you play it your way. Another highlight of training would be getting down and dirty in the mud, diving for the ball and giving it your all. It’s not something that you can explain until you try it out for yourself!

As in most CCAs, we get to put what we have learnt on the field by participating in various competitions. The main and most crucial tournament is the JC league which extends from March to May. There are also other opportunities provided for us to gain experience, such as smaller tournaments including the NTU Touch Attack, Tampines GRC Community Touch Championships and the Clifford Chance Touch Championships.

LOOPS [loop] and BUMPS [buhmp]
an elementary attacking move.

Touch develops perseverance and a fighting spirit in each player. It teaches you how to give your best at all times- even when you’re tired and about to give up. There’s no feeling quite like the camaraderie forged by playing and running hard for your teammates and having them do the same for you. Despite all the aches, scrapes and bruises, a passion and love for the game keeps us coming back each time! We have fun outside of trainings too, during lunches and dinners after trainings and birthday celebrations.

DARE to TRY [trahy]
a score earned by advancing the ball to or beyond the opponents’ goal line.

It really doesn’t matter whether you have a sports background, or whether you have any experience in touch at all because almost everyone starts on the same page. Why not give it a shot? Come get down and dirty!

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CCA Preview’14: Piano Ensemble

Listless and can’t Handel the grind of school? Then piano ensemble’s the CCA for you.

You may be wondering – why bother putting up with these lame musical puns? Why join a CCA with 25 pianos playing simultaneously? Why surround myself with a group of professional classical musicians engrossed in their own world, spewing musical jargon from their mouths?

If that’s you, you can’t be more wrong as the whole of PE batch’14 was with you in our first, fortunately not-so-accurate, impressions.

Piano Ensemble 1

We’re just a bunch of people who are dedicated to sharing our love for music with anyone who’ll care to listen.Though we might not be able to stage a 25-something hand masterpiece, rest assured that we certainly do more than the usual solo playing! In their two years here, members are given the opportunity to perform duets and even trios with other like-minded piano enthusiasts. Musicianship is something we strive towards, more so than merely demanding a certain level of technical standards to be met or a quota of classical pieces to be played. After all, what’s the point of practising an instrument tirelessly without being able to fully appreciate the beauty and texture of the music? On this note, we are looking for people with a heart for quality music, a willingness to take their piano prowess to the next level and an openness to new experiences. And we promise a fun and fulfilling time ahead!

Piano Ensemble 2

What you can expect is an exciting line-up of events and activities for the budding pianists, where all members are given as much exposure as possible. Our annual concert, competitions or smaller-scale recitals are not be missed, with our CCA members consistently clinching the gold award in Vivace, the pianistic equivalent of SYF, since participating in 2005. This ensemble’s creative energy is also reflected in its innovative concert themes, which include “for Euridyce” (2005). “Child’s Play” (2009), “Legende” (2012) and for the upcoming concert, “Carnival of Animals” (2014). Our passion for music and sharing has also found expression in the area of community service, where our CCA undertakes different types of projects with different beneficiaries, depending on the batch. Last year, it saw us giving weekly piano lessons to children of Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home and Beyond Social Services. This year, one highlight would definitely be the collaboration with an anime pop pianist to further expand our repertoire.

Piano Ensemble 3

And what can you expect from our weekly CCA sessions? Besides the usual coaching sessions, musical sharing, rehearsals and even the much-feared pre-concert Quality Control checks, be prepared for a strong sense of community. Just as much, if not even more time will be devoted to batch planning, discussions or bonding time. Given how this CCA ultimately gives its members a fair amount of freedom to decide what they want to pursue, these meetings are precious in setting direction as well as launching into spontaneous conversations and practices alike with your fellow batchmates.

In the words of Richard M. Nixon, “If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and white notes together.” Just as how life consists of ups and downs, so will your journey in RI PE but at the end of the day, you’ll experience the joy of friendships and producing beautiful music alongside people who are unafraid to do what they love best.

Seeking to showcase and develop your talents or simply just keen to further your interest and enjoy the synergy of working with fellow enthusiasts? Then look no further!!!

CCA Preview’14: One Earth

Do you enjoy a good hike in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, the sight of migratory birds overhead at Sungei Buloh, or the waves that lap against seagrass lagoons along Changi’s coast? Don’t doubt it – all of us have an instinctive connection with nature. If exploring your love for our environment and conserving such places for our future is your kind of thing, then Raffles One Earth is the CCA for you.

As a designated Service Club, we have two main objectives. Firstly, to create regular environment-related service opportunities for the school population. Secondly, to advocate on pressing environmental issues so as to raise awareness on the significance of environmental conservation. Under this framework, we hope that our contributions towards the cause would go a long way in making our Earth a more sustainable place for future generations to live in.

We meet once a week on Fridays from 3.30-5.30pm, with club sessions usually involving planning for service activities. Such activities include going down to primary schools to carry out environmental outreach, spreading the message to primary school students through interactive activities like terrarium making, handicraft sessions involving recyclables, and clean-ups at the Kranji Marshes. School-wide activities are also among the list of what we do. Highlights for the year ahead include recycling campaigns, photography exhibitions featuring Singapore’s ecology and facilitated workshops that put the spotlight on contentious environmental issues.

Since there are no strict guidelines on the type of projects members can initiate, some may also choose to organize community service opportunities such as coastal cleanups for the school population. This provides firsthand experiences at environmental service, allowing participants to better appreciate the importance of environmental conservation through the service experience. For club members, there will also be the occasional outing to places such as Bukit Brown and guest speaker sessions as well.

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Horseshoe crab rescue

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Join us and you can look forward to fun activities such as mangrove salvaging and horseshoe crab rescue, taking you to places you’d otherwise never see! Make new friends, and more importantly get to know like-minded people with a passion for nature and the environment.

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Do indicate your interest to join us when filling in your CCA options. The selection process is only a short interview and there are no prerequisites. We look forward to seeing you!