Category: CCA Previews 2014

Prepare to get thrown: Raffles Jiujitsu

JJ1

Ever watched an MMA match and wanted to be able to defend yourself and fight like one of the pros? Raffles Jujitsu is an external activity that offers an opportunity for you to do so in a safe environment.

You may have heard of Karate, Judo and Aikido but perhaps not Jujitsu. Jujitsu was the martial art of the Samurai in ancient Japan. Taught in a modern context, Jujitsu is both a grappling and striking martial art, comprising a wide variety of techniques that include punching, kicking, throwing, takedowns, joint locks, chokes and use of small weapons.

While this may sound dangerous and risky, be assured that it is safe as you will be under supervision of trained professionals! It’s like a safer version of MMA training. Not only will you learn skills, you will also get fit and have lots of fun!

While Jujitsu is not a school CCA, there is an active group of Rafflesians practicing the art, making it a comfortable environment to learn. You will also get recognition from MOE as well as the Jujitsu Association of Singapore.

Our trainings are held weekly at Tanglin CC, which can be reached by taking a direct bus from school. There are also 3 public classes held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at night which you will be more than welcome to attend. Trainings include conditioning, drills as well as learning of new striking, throwing, and grappling techniques.

Go beyond compulsory CCAs and try something new and exciting! It will be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

JJ2

CCA Preview’14: Track & Field

Track and Field. An individual sport with a team spirit. In fact, it’s more like four sports- sprints, jumps, throws, and pole vault. Quite apart from the abundance of good-looking teammates you’ll have, there’s a whole catalogue of reasons for seriously considering Track and Field as your CCA of choice.

1) It’s sport at its purest. There’s something strangely alluring about running really fast, jumping really high, and throwing heavy metal objects really far. If you want the certainty of knowing that you’re becoming a better athlete without worrying about whether you’re breaking Rule 21.7.2 of Section 3 on the Permissible Substitution of Players, then Track is the place for you.

2) It’s sport at its most versatile. Being able to fire a tiny ball into a tinier goal from twenty yards with nothing more than your trusty Floorball stick is fine and dandy, but you won’t get many chances to use that skill elsewhere. Conversely, Track and Field has countless applications, be it in standing broad jump, running away from friends who want to cake you on your birthday, or even playing other sports. After all, pace, explosiveness (jumps and sprints), and sheer strength (throws) all provide a massive edge no matter what game you’re playing. And if you join pole vault, well, getting abs of solid steel won’t hurt your sporting chances either, to say nothing of your chances in other areas.

3) Training is really fun. It seems almost an obligation for a CCA preview to say this, but the common misconception that all we do is run couldn’t be more wrong. Our coaches for all the sections are both fun and very creative, since they’d get bored too if we just did the same thing every day. We’ve got drills, games, hurdles, contests, trainings at bizarre locations like Botanic Gardens and the beach, and a standing challenge of getting Mr Tan’s car if we throw a medicine ball above the roof (applicable to sprinters only, with throwers excluded by reason of Mr Tan not really wanting to lose his car). If that isn’t enough, you’ll soon fall in love with your teammates, with weekly pilgrimages to Jai Thai, periodic ice-skating, chalets, and overly long gossip sessions that carry over from training into dinner and finally onto whatsapp.

4) If you need another reason, we weren’t kidding when we said you’ll have an abundance of good-looking teammates. The best part is, what with large amounts of sunlight, intense toning of legs (track) or training of upper-body (field), and becoming more lean by the day, you’ll soon be looking good too! (Disclaimer: beauty is a subjective quality determined by both socially constructed norms as well as individual conceptions of self. We provide no guarantee that our CCA can alter these perceptions to the extent that you fulfill these norms in what is perceived to be a satisfactory manner.)

5) If you still need another reason, you might as well go join floral arrangement.

If you’re still reading, you must be pretty interested, so here’s some important information:

-Sprints
Consists of 100m-800m events, as well as hurdles events. Training is Monday, Wednesday, Friday/Saturday, 3 times a week with the fourth training optional. Training is at the RI Yr 5-6 track. National Schools Championships are in late March to mid-April.

-Jumps
Consists of Long Jump, High Jump and Triple Jump. Trainings are held on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 3 times a week at the RI Y5-6 track.

-Throws
Consists of three main events: Javelin, Discus and Shotput. Trainings is Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 3 times a week at the RI Y5-6 track.

-Pole Vault
Trainings is Monday, Thursday, Saturday, 3 times a week at RI Y5-6 Track, although sometimes trainings are held at the gymnasium and swimming pool.

track1

In all honesty and seriousness, Track and Field is a wonderful CCA. If your interests lie elsewhere, we wish you all the best. But if you do join us, congratulations – you’ll learn why the Olympic motto is Faster, Higher, Stronger. Citius, Altius, Fortius.

CCA Preview’14: HISSOC

HISSOC, or the History and Strategic Affairs Society, is one of the oldest CCAs in RI, having been founded over a century ago at about the same time as when this school emerged on Singapore’s map. Every batch is about 60 students strong, and students participate in Model United Nations (MUNs for short) both locally and internationally. This year, we are sending students to Harvard Model Congress Asia (HMCA), which will be held in the University of Hong Kong from the 9th to the 12th of January. This event draws high school students from all over Asia.

DSCN5573
HISSOC at HMCA2014 in Hong Kong. The delegation won 13 awards in total.

This is but a glimpse of the number of opportunities you will get in HISSOC. For the 2014 calendar, students are already involved in competitions such as NTUMUN, organized yearly by the eponymous institution. The CCA’s main objective is to serve as a platform for members to develop their interest in politics, current affairs as well as diplomacy. History as a subject is rather less commonly explored in this CCA due to the nature of the competitions that other institutions offer (with most counterparts in other schools placing their focus on current affairs, with names like Young Diplomats Society – we, however, keep our name as it is part of the heritage this organization is proud of).

IMG_2917

That is not to say, however, that the significance of History with a capital H in this CCA is relegated. We organize a History and Current Affairs quiz yearly, inviting teams from secondary schools to take part, and members in general take an active interest in events that have shaped the world in the past. We will likely be collaborating with the Preservation of National Monuments Board (PMB) for Monument Open House 2014! There is no admission criteria for HISSOC – instead, all this CCA demands from its members is a willingness to take the chances that this CCA offers them, and to assist the CCA in turn by contributing to the creation and organization of events.

What events? To answer this rhetorical question, there is one answer – RMUN, or Raffles Model United Nations.

rmunOur flagship event is generally recognized by most secondary schools to be one of the most prestigious MUNs within the local circuit. The CCA manages everything: deciding debate topics, themes, budget, et cetera. It’s a painstaking, entirely student-run process, and all members are taken on board to help make it a success.

HISSOC’s alumni is pretty impressive – Jarrett Huang, HISSOC’s president in 2011, is now a President’s Scholar studying in Cambridge, and many members of similar (and diverse) portfolios have streamed through this CCA.

For those cynical about MUN and the meaning in this CCA in general, my advice is to just take what you do seriously and as an intellectual exercise. You’ll be surprised at the number of soft skills you pick up just by interacting with delegates from other schools or by planning an event as large as RMUN. If you have a passion for diplomacy, history or current affairs, and would like to be actively participating in events revolving around the aforementioned areas of interest organized both locally and internationally, join HISSOC. We promise fulfilling times ahead.

HISSOC batch pic

CCA Preview’14: Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network

By Aaron Quak (14S03P)

You have a dream. Somewhere inside of you, there lurks a drive to achieve, succeed and most of all, to create. Perhaps your goal is to make it big in life or to improve the way we do things, from making phone calls to volunteering. If so, you may wish to join the Raffles Entrepreneurs’ Network (REN) and cast away the bowlines, for to paraphrase Mark Twain, it may well be what you chose not to do that you regret the most.

A member of REN is, above all, an entrepreneur. When one thinks of entrepreneurs, an oft-imagined stereotyped is the profit-driven, tough-dealing hard-seller, or figures like Steve Jobs. However, aren’t necessarily looking for the shrewdest minds, nor the best business managers, nor even the most capable coders. We believe that an entrepreneur is neither a dreamer nor a doer but one who is adept at both, and strives to create meaningful and sustained value. To that end, social enterprise is a huge aspect of what we do, for we believe that the point of an enterprise is to create value in a socially responsible way and not just to earn.

REN is always seeking to develop its members and provide opportunities. Regular CCA sessions consist of weekly General Meetings (GMs) lasting 2 to 3 hours long, on Wednesday afternoons. At these sessions, you will get to meet local entrepreneurs and founders of startups, such as Mr. Florian Cornu of travel-site startup Flocations or The Thought Collective founder Ms. Kuik Shiao Yin. In 2010, we were honoured to have received  Muhammad Yunus as a guest speaker. Stimulating exchanges of ideas are also a feature of GMs.

ENTRE_1

ENTRE_2

You will also have the chance to participate in competitions such as the prestigious Students for the Advancement of Global Enterprise, or SAGE competition, and HP’s Social Innovation Relay, among others. REN clinched the 1st runners’ up awards for both these competitions nationally in 2013. As always, we are looking to expand our scope of activities and to include hackathons and hold-ups.

There is plenty to do apart from the hard stuff, however. Each year, we will also be holding a CCA camp, which includes a mini business-pitch competition, for members to bond, relax and have fun. REN also publishes a magazine, RafflesInc., which is slated for its second release early next year. Apart from encouraging members to develop as entrepreneurs, REN aims to spread the entrepreneurial spirit as well.

ENTRE_3

ENTRE 4

Ultimately, REN is a community of driven individuals. One of our members, Goh Zong Han, was in fact driven enough to found Kinkypizza, an app-development startup. Its first app is named Donut, and integrates service learning opportunities, registration and tracking into an easy to use interface. This highly developed prototype just goes to show how far passion can carry you.

ENTRE_5

ENTRE_6

ENTRE_7

Selection for REN is judged based on a rigorous interview. Spaces are limited in number and only about 30 students are selected each year. But if think you have the creativity to come up with a neat idea and the gumption to see it to reality, REN is for you.

CCA Preview’14: Raffles Jazz

“I don’t care if a dude is purple with green breath as long as he can swing.”
— Miles Davis

Playful, yet earnest on the bandstand, Raffles Jazz is a close community of musicians who are passionate about performing this strangely compelling genre known as Jazz. Performing at company events, functions and school concerts, Jazz has always been serious about presenting genuine and captivating music since it was founded 10 years ago as a student initiative group. Today, Jazz thrives on its rich history of accomplished alumni whose explorations in music have enriched the Singaporean jazz scene and reach overseas to acclaimed music colleges abroad. This tradition carried on by juniors continues and evolves to present yet more mesmerizing music every year. Jazzers play with sheer feeling, and it is this emotion that engages the audience and creates a moving performance. We want to push boundaries in music and improve, as musicians and performers.

Jazz sessions are traditionally held on Friday evenings in our beloved Jam Studio. During this time, we often have lessons conducted by our instructors Tan Wei Xiang and Seow Yi Zhe along with jamming sessions and other events. However, a word of warning – do not be fooled by the compulsory 2 hours per week! Practices are often held outside of the Friday sessions, and will increase in intensity according to the occasion. The occasions range from opening acts at school events, to playing for company dinner, to our highly anticipated annual concert. Nevertheless, rest assured that practices take into account the commitments and the schedules of all band members.

jazz1
Raffles Jazz after Like A Boss, the annual May concert in 2013, featuring seniors and AV Club

Bands in Jazz are flexible, allowing all of our members to interact and play with each other as they wish. As for the Jazzers themselves, all of them are unforgettable characters with a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on how you see it) dose of “hairiness”, the pervasive culture of Jazz that leaves no member unscathed. Symptoms include strange antics, jokes no one else can understand, distorted faces and uncontrollable laughter. Jazzers are very commonly spotted at the steps near the Parade Square in the morning or chilling out in the storeroom after school, and will be very happy to entertain any of your questions pertaining to Jazz. We don’t bite, so don’t be shy!
What does one have to do in order to get into Jazz, you may ask? Though any prospective member has to pass an audition and an interview, do not be daunted by these terms! Raffles Jazz welcomes all who possess musicality, passion for music, and are willing to work hard for what they love. In fact, we value this much more over technical skill. For those without prior experience in the genre, fret not! During the trial period, an introductory workshop will be held, where our instructor and the seniors will guide you through the basics to prepare you for your tasks.

jazz2
Raffles Jazz at the Arts House for its 2013 alumni collaboration Christmas concert, titled ‘From Place to Place’

If you have a love for music and a passion for trying new things, Raffles Jazz would be very happy to have you if you were to choose us as your second home. We assure you that you will not regret it. “Jazz was one of the best things in JC,” quipped pianist Jessica Tan, and the rest of the Jazzers definitely agree with that sentiment. Joining Jazz not only opens doors for you in terms of musical development, but also gives you a group of friends that will walk with you through your JC life; vice-chair Jennifer Ho strongly believes in this. “Because to me, these people are more than just the club, these people are my family.”