Story and pictures by reader Lam Chun See


Some of the 530 junior paddlers who took part in the 5th National Junior Canoeing Championships. Raffles Junior College girls Bernice Heng, Tan Jian Rong, Goh Soolin and Meera Sitaram start out in their green K4. They eventually with a silver in the K4 500m race. (Photo 1 © Lam Chun See.)

MacRitchie Reservoir, March 29 and 30, 2008 – The 5th National Junior Canoeing Championships were held over the weekend of March 29 and 30 at the MacRitchie Reservoir. In all, there were a staggering 187 events, with 73 events for the 1000 m category held on day 1 and the remaining events on day 2 for the 500 m category. A total of 530 junior paddlers from 33 schools/affiliates contested keenly for top honours. Competitors were grouped into two age categories: Junior (18 years and below) and Under-15.

One highlight of this year's competition was the newly-introduced K4 events. The men's teams from Kanoe Sports and the women's teams from Mountbatten CSC won golds for both the 1000m and 500 m races.

One of the most keenly fought races was the Men's 500 m K1 event where less than half a second separated the top 3 rowers. The gold eventually went to Muhammad Syaheenul Aiman of Mountbatten CSC. The full results can be found at the Singapore Canoe Federation website.

The results give a good indication for what to expect in the closely watched Inter-Schools Canoeing Championships in July. However, it was difficult to gauge exactly how each school fared, because some of the competitors raced under the names of their sport clubs rather than their own school's club. Nevertheless, looking at the medals tally, it appears some of the traditional heavyweights like Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and National Junior College will making making waves at the Bedok Reservoir come July.

The spectator turnout was good this year, thanks partly to the fine weather. But the viewing experience was somewhat marred by the crowded conditions around the Paddle Lodge area where record numbers of participants and spectators had to jostle for space with officials, joggers, weekend recreational canoeists, tourists, and even a couple of anglers! The near chaotic situation was aggravated by ongoing construction work.

For readers who enjoy watching water sports, the next event to look out for is the 8th National Schools' Dragon Boat Championship 2008 to be held next Saturday on 12th April at Bedok Reservoir. See you there!


The Kanoe Sports Men’s K4 team comprising Samuel Chin, Joseph Goh, Ho Hin Yang and Lam Weng Ngai crossing the finish line. (Photo 2 © Lam Chun See)

(Photo 3 © Lam Chun See)

(Photo 4 © Lam Chun See)

(Photo 5 © Lam Chun See)

(Photo 6 © Lam Chun See)

(Photo 7 © Lam Chun See)

N.B. If you recognise yourself or your friends in any of the pictures, feel free to leave the names in the comments section and we'll update the captions. If you know which events are pictured above, let us know too. Thanks.