Cedar Athletic Team ‘17

I was a Cedar athlete from ‘01 to ‘04, but a mediocre one at best. I wouldn’t say those four years were the best chapters in my teenage life, because it really wasn’t. I was playful and wilful, and in part misunderstood. Didn’t help that my good friends were all from ‘rival schools’. So, (if you can connect the dots) it always felt like I was deprived of opportunities to grow. Not complaining because those lessons definitely steeled me to be more resilient in life! 

That said, in the recent few years my friends and I, we do occasionally reminisce (fondly) about the days we toiled hard at the track, the letters we wrote to each other in encouragement, the post-training tauhways/cupnoodles we consumed (oops), that #cedarpride when our teammate gets up on the podium. 

Every year when the National Track & Field finals buzz comes about, I find myself deliberating - should I or should I not go? I’ve never gone back once because I know I wouldn’t like to go back to unfamiliar faces, but late last year I found myself wanting. And I knew that if I wanted to enjoy finals, I really needed to know the athletes well. So what happened next, I’m sure you can figure out yourself. Some of these images (below), together with archival material + research + interviews will culminate in the form of a publication of sorts, akan datang. 

For now, may this set of images bring you through the journey of the Cedar track & field girls who ‘blood, sweat and tears’ their way to a double championship title this year. A truly fitting gift from the athletes to the school on her 60th. 

Pre-nationals projection read that we would have a good chance at winning the B title, but not the C.  It was truly exciting for me (and many others, I’m sure!) because after each competition day, we would tally the scores and re-evaluate whether we were closer or further away from our goals. Somewhere along the way, the athletes managed to buckle up and fought for every single point. 

A couple of them had a difficult lead up to this competition because of niggling injuries that left them on the sidelines for awhile, while others had to fight their own battles at home/outside school. Over the last six months, I’ve bonded with the team and became quite pally with a couple of them, so it also pained me to see them struggle. But they never gave up, no matter how painful it got. Weeks before the competition, the captain lay immobilised in bed from an injury and had to be ferried to the A&E by her parents. She spent the next few days recuperating and putting extra effort at rehabilitation because she really wanted to do her team proud. And she did. 

We eventually did emerge victorious. But more than the trophies and the glory, I think what’s more precious is the life lessons and values the girls brought home. 

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