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  • Valerie Fang

Joining a Sports CCA in University

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

Note: This article is an official collaboration with the NUS Dragon Boat team!

Looking forward to trying something new in university? There are a myriad of options in NUS! Out of the different categories, joining a sports CCA is a clear option to enjoy the fun and excitement that sports can bring. Yet, at a university (’uni’) level, one concern looms at the back of our minds: will we have time for sports?

For this article, we are glad to be collaborating with NUS Dragon Boat (‘NUS DB’), and chatting with the captain of the women’s team, Qi Xuan, over this topic!

As university students, we have more responsibilities. One needs to cope with the heavy uni academic workload, plan their incoming career options, start managing their finances for future independence, etc. Taking on any CCA at the uni level is already an additional side quest. It could be more so when joining sports CCAs, as they take up relatively more physical energy. Qi Xuan, who became the captain in her second year of uni, shared with us how she joined the Dragon Boat team.

“...Usually I don’t really venture into something on my own, I would join with friends. But this (joining Dragon Boat) was something that I decided for myself. I looked through every single sport on NUSync and went with Dragon Boat in the end because it wasn’t a sport you could find elsewhere. I clearly remembered that the CCA description says they welcome everyone regardless of prior experience. This was something that enticed me to try that sport especially as someone without prior sports background!”

The NUSync portal offers a list of 50 active sports CCAs; the choices are endless. Each sports CCA may have different requirements, with many that welcome people without experience. Some of them would require you to go through selection trials before entering them.

Many sports CCAs are also divided by level of expertise, where there is a recreational group and a varsity group for the sport. NUS DB is part of the latter group, which represents the school in national competitions. Our featured CCA is unique because it simultaneously welcomes people without experience and joins many competitions against other universities and organizations!

Sports CCAs require commitment and effort. Qi Xuan tells us, “For our official training, we hold water trainings over the weekends and land trainings every Tuesday. We also have OT (own time) sessions where you would train with your buddies. The entire team would be paired up into junior-senior pairs for a better support system.”

Similarly, most sports require you to join sessions more than once a week, to ensure that you would get enough practice for the sport. For sports CCAs with upcoming competitions, the number of training sessions can even go up to 4 times a week. “For varsity CCAs, you would need a certain level of grit and determination to continue (with the sport), especially when the academic workload increases and training gets tough”.

As intense as it sounds, it is not impossible to manage your time with a Sports CCA. Qi Xuan mentions, “When I first joined the CCA as a member, it took some time for me to adapt because training was tiring especially when I did not have any sports background. After a while, I got the hang of it and am better able to manage my time better and ensure that work gets done while my body gets sufficient rest”.

Furthermore, joining a sport CCA rewards one with intangible benefits that go beyond physical fitness. As Qi Xuan encouragingly says, DB “does not only allow you to look beyond yourself”, it “brings people together” and “challenges oneself to strive for greater heights”.

Indeed, DB is a team sport and encourages team bonding which connects many other members together. Moreover, the endorphins from the sport allows one to take a mental break from the usual stresses of academic undergraduate life.

When asked if she would recommend people without experience to join a sports CCA, Qi Xuan mentioned the above matters on commitments, but also expressed that “the experience that you could get from a varsity sports experience is something you can’t get anywhere else”.

Picture credit: NUS Dragon Boat

Sports CCAs in NUS usually open for registration in the first two weeks of each semester. NUS Students’ Sports Club has also been organizing Interest Development Series, an event where you could try out multiple sports with guidance from the members of the CCAs. It usually happens on the 3rd or 4th week of a semester. All other information on CCAs in general can be found on the NUSync portal! Now, would you consider joining a Sports CCA during your time in university?

Note: They will be having a competition in early June, do support them! Find them on Instagram @NUSDragonBoat or check the NUSync postal for more information!

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