TAY­LOR’S SWIFTIES AIM TO BE ON SONG

Raimi and his team out to make their mark in XBall meet

New Straits Times - - Sport - RE­PORTS BY RICKY YAP nst­sport@nst.com.my

THERE’S much more to grasp about the game of dodge­ball than just knowing that it fo­cuses on two groups of play­ers try­ing to avert be­ing hit by one another’s shots on op­pos­ing sides in an area al­most the size of a fut­sal court.

Did you know that in­stead of evad­ing the ball, the player can also catch the ball — but in full — in or­der to elim­i­nate his/her op­po­nent?

And did you know that the game’s un­spo­ken rule is not to aim at the face? But ac­ci­dents do hap­pen and play­ers oc­ca­sion­ally get hit in the face al­beit risks of get­ting cramps are much higher than ac­tual in­juries.

With­out a doubt, the 2004 movie Dodge­ball: A True Un­der­dog Story has caused a spike in in­ter­est in the game among Malaysians so much so that they have im­proved from strength to strength, at­tested by the na­tional women’s team emerg­ing tops glob­ally af­ter win­ning their firstever gold medal at the 5th World Dodge­ball Cham­pi­onships in Mel­bourne last Satur­day.

The Malaysian men’s team were also not to be out­shone, re­tain­ing their World No 2 po­si­tion at the same meet.

How­ever, mem­bers of the Tay­lor’s Col­lege Swift Dodge­ball Club in SS15, Subang Jaya, Se­lan­gor, that were set up in 2015, do not har­bour such high worldly as­pi­ra­tions.

Their pres­i­dent, Raimi Im­ran Mo­hamad Ron­nie, ex­plained that due to the short study pro­gramme un­der­taken by their mem­bers, the club are un­able to move above the be­gin­ners’ level, or at best ele­men­tary stage.

“Tay­lor’s Col­lege of­fers three pro­grammes — A-level, CPU (Cana­dian Pre-Univer­sity) and SAM (South Aus­tralian Ma­tric­u­la­tion) — which are gen­er­ally about one year to 15 months.

“As such, most of the Swifties (as the mem­bers are known) leave the club af­ter com­plet­ing their stud­ies for ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion,” said Raimi, 18, who will be com­plet­ing his SAM pro­gramme at year’s end.

As such, the dodge­ball club, formed in 2015, pale in com­par­i­son to their more il­lus­tri­ous and high­lyskilled Storm coun­ter­parts in Tay­lor’s Univer­sity Lake­side Cam­pus in Sun­way.

With the lux­ury of their play­ers stay­ing at least three to four years, the Storm team have had won nu­mer­ous dodge­ball tour­na­ments.

In con­trast, the Swifties’ best re­sult was reach­ing the semi-fi­nals of last year’s Rookie Sea­son One Dodge­ball tour­na­ment. And most re­cently, they made the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Un­der-18 cat­e­gory in the Fit For Life Fair Live Dodge­ball tour­na­ment in Kuala Lumpur last month.

Come Satur­day, the Swifties end, fol­low­ing which they would have had com­pleted their stud­ies,” said Raimi, who has been play­ing dodge­ball for the past hope to ex­cel two years af­ter get­ting hooked on in the XBall it while study­ing at an in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment in school.

Oa­sis “It was fun when I started play­ing Da­mansara, dodge­ball and turned into a Pe­tal­ing Jaya, hobby when I saw my skills im­prove,” or­gan­ised by said Raimi, adding that a the Malaysian rub­ber-coated foam ball is used As­so­ci­a­tion of dur­ing train­ing and tour­na­ments Dodge­ball, of in­stead of a hard­ball. which the club “The foam ball is faster and are an af­fil­i­ate. eas­ier to aim while less painful if

Raimi, who one is struck by it,” he said. be­came a Swiftie last Au­gust and The Swifties, with about 100plus was ap­pointed pres­i­dent in reg­is­tered mem­bers, of Fe­bru­ary, is keep­ing his fin­gers whom only over 30 are ac­tive, crossed for a pos­i­tive out­come con­duct train­ing twice a week but re­al­is­ing that they are a train­ing (two hours each on Mon­days and club hon­ing the play­ers’ in­di­vid­ual Wed­nes­days) at their cam­pus’ skills, he is not hav­ing bas­ket­ball court and at the nearby high ex­pec­ta­tions. City Har­vest grounds, where

“We are slightly be­low av­er­age the mem­bers chip in to pay for as com­pared to other teams of the RM50 rental cost. our cal­i­bre and stan­dard. This is “There are three main rules for be­cause 95 per cent of the play­ers dodge­ball play­ers: in­tegrity, who join the club man­age to sports­man­ship and hon­esty. pick up the skills only at year’s Dur­ing our train­ing ses­sions, which we con­duct among our­selves with­out an of­fi­cial trainer, we do warm-up ex­er­cises fol­low­ing which we prac­tise ball-throws for 30 min­utes. And we will use the re­main­ing time to de­vise our game strate­gies and im­prove our per­for­mance,” said Raimi, adding that the club have three teams: males, fe­males and co-ed.

Ni­cole Tan, the cap­tain of the fe­male team, said she joined the Swifties be­cause she wanted to try some­thing new and which was also a non-tra­di­tional sport while mak­ing new friends.

The club’s vice-sec­re­tary, Lim Zhi Xuan, be­came a Swiftie as she wanted to have fun while gain­ing courage and teach­ing her the im­por­tance of team­work.

Vice-pres­i­dent Lee Wen Hong said his in­ter­est in dodge­ball was piqued af­ter watch­ing a video of a player who did a flip while evad­ing a shot.

Swiftie Lee Jing Wen found dodge­ball to be a trendy and so­cial while get­ting a good work­out and feel­ing the re­lease of en­dor­phins.

Mem­bers of the Tay­lor’s Col­lege Swift Dodge­ball Club in ac­tion at the FitForLife Fair tour­na­ment last month.

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