School sports: Catholic high school, Xinmin high school crowned volleyball champions of the north area of the B division
SINGAPORE – It has been a season of uncertainty and change for student-athletes like volleyball player Chung Cheng High (Yishun) Sophie Arini. They initially had to quickly adapt to a modified 3v3 format for the National School Games (NSG), only to learn that the National Finals had been canceled due to the late departure from the Zonals.
But they’re not complaining as many of the teams competing in the B-Division B-Division men’s and women’s volleyball finals on Monday (April 19) in the North Zone were just happy to be back on the pitch. after Covid-19 ended last year’s NSG.
The 3v3 competition at the Department of Physical, Sports and Outdoor Education of the Ministry of Education (MOE) saw the Catholic High School (10-5) and Xinmin High School (8-7) crowned respectively North Zone champions for boys and girls after beating Edgefield Secondary School. and Chung Cheng High (Yishun).
Charmaine Toh, 15, of Xinmin Secondary, said her team’s goal is to add to the North Zone C Division gold medal they won in 2019.
“We were mentally prepared and we had that fighting spirit. We were excited and nervous, and we tried to elevate ourselves throughout the competition,” said the teenager.
Edgefield Secondary’s Oon Ming Jun and his team were still in a good mood despite their 10-5 loss to Catholic High.
“The team played well today and we really gave it our all. There are no regrets,” said the 15-year-old.
After the removal of the NSG last year, there was uncertainty as to whether team sports like volleyball, which is a six-a-side game, would return this season due to Covid-19 security measures limiting the play to a maximum of eight people.
When the MOE announced the return of 12 sports to NSG last month, including team sports volleyball and sepak takraw, volleyball players had less than a month to adjust to the new format.
But that didn’t deter Ming Jun and his teammates as he added, “We may not have seen each other much in training last year, but we all have the same goal, which is to win, so I think the NSG is back. we motivated to train harder. “
Sophie admitted that they had lost their motivation due to the uncertainty but were “very excited and encouraged to train even harder” when the news broke.
The 16-year-old said: “I’m very grateful to be able to compete because for most of us this is our last year representing the school. The teachers were also very encouraging during our training. We wanted to clinch first place this year, but even though we don’t get the results we wanted, everyone has done their best. “
Adapting to the new 3v3 format proved to be a challenge. “3v3 is actually more difficult because there are less people to support you. We have to depend more on ourselves,” Charmaine said.
Joshua Lim, 15, of Catholic High, added: “With only three people on the court, it takes everyone more involved to get a good reception, a good set and a good peak.
For 6v6 it’s more about playing the game at your own pace, but for 3v3 it’s more about who can go faster at the ball, who is more agile, and who is more alert. “
Although there are no national championships this year, schools were treated to three teams each against only one in previous editions, which allowed more players to participate in the zone tournament.
Joshua added: “I know a lot of friends who have also trained really hard but don’t have the opportunity to compete. We have adapted quite well to the new format and with the help of my teammates we are happy. to be able to win the trophy for school. “