Catching up with Alumni - The Pioneers I
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
As we start the inaugural Raffles Pioneers U16 Cup (Boys and Girls) Tournament this week, here is a special feature on some of our pioneers of Raffles Basketball. This U16 Tournament is a round robin league involving 5 B Div boys and girls teams and this was only made possible by the support of our pioneering alumni. So here is a special Shout-Out to all our Pioneering Basketball Alumni!!
For our first Pioneer, we will be hearing from one of our most ardent supporter and ex-BAS General Secretary, Mr Ong Swee Teck, from the batch of RJC 1981.
Griffles: How was training like during your time?
ST: Training was 7 days a week for most of the A Div Boys!! We spent 5 days during morning PE doing mainly ball skills, shooting and fast-break drills. During 3 afternoons, we would spend 3 hours doing team training - physical training for 1 hour, basic skills for 1 hour and team plays for the last hour.
On other days, it was mostly self-training. On Sunday mornings, we would play with old boys and other teams at Thomson Secondary (which became North Vista). All the players enjoyed the training because we had one common vision - to win the national title for first time, especially after four defeats in five years in the National A Div Boys Finals. (Which they did win in 1981)
What difficulties did you face during your days as Captain and how did you seek to resolve them?
Back then, we only had 1 basketball court for 3 teams! That meant limited court usage for each team. We had to plan two sessions on one court every day.
During our ‘81 season, our National A Div Boys Final clashed with our RI Sports Day. We thus had to ask the Principal to grant us permission for our batch to support us in the final.
There was a lack of funds for the CCA (Back then, it was known as ECA - Extra-Curricular Activity). Thus, we raised funds through selling snacks, chocolates and biscuits. There was no teacher-in-charge or coach. We had to plan our own training.
What is one significant memory that remains of your basketball days in Raffles?
The self-discipline that was instilled in each player. For physical training, I did 10 rounds around the track at 7am within 20 mins, 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups each day.
Finally, any words of encouragement for our Raffles Basketball Teams?
Remember always: You are playing for Raffles. Fight till the end.
G: Thank you for your time Swee Teck and for your words of wisdom.
Swee Teck (then BAS General Sec) presenting the A Div Girls trophy to our Captain in 2017.