15 years. That is exactly how long VJC’s girls hockey team has managed to hold on to the champion’s title in the National ‘A’ division Hockey Competition, as of 9th May, 2017.
Last Tuesday, busloads of Victorians, armed with their trademark yellow clappers, arrived at Sengkang Hockey Pitch in the early afternoon. They were abuzz with excitement, as well as a touch of anxiety, as they had been told by the Red Shirts on the bus that they were not to expect a VJ victory since their opponent seemed especially strong this year. As Victorians alighted and filled the stands, one side of the pitch was packed with yellow, and the other with red and blue, the colours of Millennia Institute. The game was a thrilling one, with both sides doing their best to bring glory to their schools. The stakes were extremely high, and so was the atmosphere, with both Victorians and students from Millennia Institute cheering their loudest for their school’s teams. VJC opened each half with their well-practised “Fee Fi Fo Fum” cheer, getting their crowd of spectators truly excited for the match to come, and their opponents responded in kind with cheers of their own.
“The match was so intense,” commented one of the Victorians spectating, who prefers to remain anonymous, shouting over the crowd to be heard. Another mentioned that she was “so engrossed in the game [that she] forgot to eat [her] chicken nuggets”. Indeed, the match was truly a nail-biter, with plenty of near misses on both sides throughout. Each one of these misses was accompanied by loud cheers, as well as agitated sighs. The ball passed from edge to edge of the pitch within seconds, as possession changed so frequently that one would be lost if one took one’s eyes off the game for even a second. The atmosphere only got more and more tense as the minutes slipped by, and the chances of scoring diminished.
Despite both sides’ numerous chances, though, after the final whistle, the score was still tied at 0-0, and the teams were getting frustrated and anxious as they went into extra time. The first goal scored would now signal the end of the match, and determine the winner of the game––in this case, the champion of the entire competition.
As the game continued, all the Victorians at the stands were on their feet, cheering for the team as loud as they could. Their shouts got louder as an uneasy feeling settled in amongst everyone, as just one flick of a hockey stick could make or break VJC’s then-14-year-long legacy. Still, as the match went on, it seemed as though both sides had reached a stalemate, with neither team able to get past the other’s defence.
The game was drawing to a close, as the extra time was almost up. As the ball travelled once more to MI’s side of the court, everyone held their breath. This moment was the one that would define the fate of VJC hockey, and their incredible reputation.
With a deft flick of her hockey stick, Klara Chong scored! The net rippled, and in that instant, everyone was too shocked to react. We had won!
Cheering replaced the incredulous silence, as Victorians erupted in their signature cheer “VJ boleh”, led by the Red Shirts. The faces of everyone on VJC’s side of the stands lit up with joy as the rest of the hockey girls, as well as some teachers, ran out onto the pitch from the sidelines to congratulate and celebrate with their team, with some of the team members wearing shirts that spelled out the word ‘FIFTEEN’ — a tribute to another year of success for VJC’s hockey girls. The cheers coming from the stands were deafening, as the sea of yellow-clad Victorians rose as one to cheer and clap in absolute euphoria. On the pitch, VJC’s hockey girls yelled and screamed with pride and happiness, some even in tears as it dawned on them that all of their efforts had paid off, and they were champions once again.
As the match finally came to an end, Victorians put their arms around each other, with our new champions leading everyone in the Victorian Anthem, and the accompanying “Yo VJC” cheer. It is in moments like these that one truly feels the Victorian spirit — the pride of being a Victorian, there to cheer on and witness each other’s victories.
A decade and a half later, and the hockey girls are still the champions of the ‘A’ Division. Why is this so? When asked about her thoughts on the match, Vanessa Ho, one of the team’s J2s, said that the result was “unexpected”, but that “everyone [had] fought their hardest”––perhaps it was this hard work and perseverance that led to yet another stunning victory for VJ’s hockey girls. Being one of the most high-commitment CCAs in VJC, with trainings an average of thrice a week, it is no wonder that our hockey players are top-notch, leading VJ to an exciting victory.
When asked to comment on the game, Mr Seet Kok Wah said, “Today’s game was like a game of survivor – whichever team outlasts their opponents would win – and today we won. We had more possession, but we couldn’t convert [our chances] because our opponents were strong in defence. The girls really deserved the victory.”
“They fought well,” said one Victorian, after the match had ended. We can only agree with this sentiment, and congratulate the hockey girls on a game well played, as well as on their fifteenth consecutive championship title.
Caitlyn Teo, 17S43
Robyn Ong, 17A12
Look out for our coverage of the Hockey Boys’ Finals, coming soon!