School sports: Rain or shine, students happy to play team sports again at NSG

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SINGAPORE — Play was halted by a heavy downpour, but the chants and cheers weren’t in the National Division B women’s softball on Monday, March 28.

Even as the rain poured down on the grounds of the Raffles Girls’ School (RGS), their spirits had not cooled as the student-athletes had waited two long years to compete in the National School Games (NSG).

The hosts faced Geylang Methodist School (secondary) in their NSG opener when it was called off after 20 minutes due to bad weather. RGS softball players continued to sing school cheers as they waited for the rain to subside, with the game eventually postponed after an hour.

But there were always smiling faces all around. RGS captain Nydia Chew, 15, said: “My team celebrated after hearing the news (of NSG’s return) because we have worked very hard since 2019.

“But then in 2020 and 2021 we failed to play and finally this year we managed to play and I feel like we finally have a chance to play and show what we stood for. trained.”

The past two years have been particularly difficult for team sports, as coronavirus restrictions limiting group sizes have prevented many people from playing these sports in their usual formats.

The pandemic-imposed suspension of the NSG in 2020 meant that competitions for various sports were cut short or didn’t even start, while last year’s Games featured just two team sports – sepak takraw and volleyball in a modified 3v3 format.

It’s no surprise, then, that student-athletes were thrilled when B Division softball, basketball and cricket competition kicked off on Monday, signifying the long-awaited return of team sports to the NSG.

All team sports will be played in their respective standard formats this year, with the exception of rugby which will be played in a sevens format instead of 15v15.

Geylang Methodist School (secondary) softball player Zoe Tan, 14, was happy to make her NSG debut in softball after quitting netball, which she played in primary school.

The Secondary 3 student said, “I was really sad because when I joined the CCA (extracurricular activity), I expected to be able to play in first or second year. Going straight to Division B is quite difficult because the level is really up there.”

RGS softball coach Gerann Ngiam said it has been difficult trying to keep his proteges motivated over the past few years.

With group size limitations limiting their activities, Ngiam, 29, tried to find different ways to make training interesting, such as holding mini-games or in-house competitions.

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