International Students Sports Day

International Student’s Sports Day

By Dãvis Rusmanis

On the 8th September the International Student’s Sports Day was held in the Mardyke Arena for visiting students to UCC from across the world. The event was organised jointly by the Clubs’ Executive and the International Students Society of University College Cork. The purpose behind the event was to give student’s spending the next year of their college experience in UCC the opportunity to experience some of what the sports clubs in UCC have to offer.

Approximately two hundred students from countries such as America, India and China descended upon the Mardyke Arena to spend their afternoon engaging with the club members who had volunteered their time to teach the students about some of the clubs that are present in UCC.

The students had the opportunity to spend thirty minutes with each club before moving onto the next sport. In that way the groups of students moved around from club to club in a rotation and were given the chance to experience a wide range of activities.

With the fencing club the students were shown the different types of competition; foil, epee and sabre. The differences between the three of them were explained and the students were given demonstrations before being allowed to take a shot themselves and try a style of their choice under the supervision of an experienced club member.

The taekwondo club ran a self-defence class where the students were shown techniques to protect themselves in the event of being attacked. While being taught in a fun and interactive way by well-versed instructors it still gave the students some new skills and a possible insight into what martial arts can provide an individual.

The dance club kept their energy levels high throughout the day as they ran a class where the students got to experience some different varieties of ceilí and were given an introduction into traditional Irish dancing. While the thought of dancing in a group initially seemed to be rather daunting for some, everyone leaving the studio after the class had a broad smile on their face.

Finally, the sports hall was shared between Olympic handball, futsal and table tennis. Table tennis kept the students active by playing games with multiple people around a table and having people run around while hitting the ball back and forth. Other games like having to spin on the spot before striking the ball kept the students engaged in the sport and showed there was more to it than initially thought. Futsal was the most tiring of the activities for the day as they played mini games with teams of students. Students walking away after a game were visibly exhausted but satisfied with their performance. Meanwhile, Olympic handball kept their groups occupied by teaching them how to pass a ball and how to throw the ball as effectively as possible to ensure a goal.

Overall our club members were able to give a small taste of the diversity of clubs present in UCC. With fifty-six clubs, there is an avenue of activity for everyone and the purpose behind the sports day is to encourage students that may find it difficult to initially make friends or to settle into a new country to get out there and experience what UCC has to offer.