On this year’s Renri, 3rd February 2017, Hwa Chong Volleyball (HCVB) players both past and present once again gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The spirit of togetherness at the Concorde Hotel Ballroom was abundant, fully accentuated by the familial bonds that held the kindred souls present together.
The Hwa Chong Volleyball Family
Photo Credit: Mr. Chia Bin Chong, Head of the Hwa Chong Volleyball Alumni
The secret to their unity, according to Head of the Hwa Chong Volleyball Alumni (HCVBA) Mr. Chia Min Chong, is the team’s illustrious past. While the glory of past batches may be a source of pressure to some, to successive batches of HCVB members it is a source of motivation instead. Year after year, the team strives hard to attain the championship title, and the unity forged from this experience is unbreakable. The value of 饮水思源 also holds generations of Hwa Chong volleyball players together as a tight-knit family, with many alumni returning to help out even after graduation. “Hwa Chong is like a big family which is with you for life,” expressed Mr Chia.
Mr. Chia and the 1993 Hwa Chong Volleyball ‘A’ Division team after winning the National Schools Championship. Photo Credit: Mr. Chia Bin Chong, Head of the Hwa Chong Volleyball Alumni
Mr. Chia’s journey as a school player was not entirely smooth-sailing; balancing his academic and non-academic commitments was, as any student athlete can attest, physically and mentally taxing. He recounted the challenges he faced with his team, training “really hard and long hours, and juggling schoolwork.” Despite this, however, he asserted that “he would do all over again without a second thought,” for his experience in the Hwa Chong Volleyball team counts among “the best memories in Hwa Chong” that he cherishes.
Girls’ Captain Ang Hui Lyn (16S63) has similar sentiments too; she likened the CCA to a safe haven, with people that she could “rely on in times of need.” It is with her team that she feels most comfortable – “they are my familiarity amongst all the unfamiliarity.” This safe haven now includes seniors of previous batches as well. Before the dinner, Hui Lyn was unsure of how the dinner would pan out, having never met most of these seniors. However, the apprehension soon dissolved as she was met with great friendliness from the alumni. That day, she left the dinner with a renewed understanding of the motto: “Once a Hwa Chong Volleyballer, always a Hwa Chong Volleyballer.”
‘A’ Division Girls’ birthday celebrations. Photo Credit: Ang Hui Lyn (16S63) @ Hwa Chong Volleyball
Both Mr. Chia and Hui Lyn urged their juniors to cherish their time in HCVB. “Be proud of being a part of Hwa Chong Volleyball,” Mr Chia said. “It will be a special part of your life now at Hwa Chong, and after you graduate too.” Concurring, Hui Lyn said that “joining HCVB is like joining a family,” and she expressed her hope that her juniors will continue to uphold the CCA’s spirit – by keeping the ball in the air together as one.
Written by Chong Shu Ning (17S76) and Chew Chu Gek (17S7E)