Pulling Together as a Community to Create A Higher Level of Sporting Experience
by Hannah R., Concordia Applied Journalism
In the shadows of every event there are people who make the magic happen. Concordia International School Shanghai participates in many exciting events that not every typical high school student has access to. This higher-level exposure means that our teams are able to compete at more competitive levels all around East Asia.
This January we were given the privilege of hosting Girls Basketball Super APAC. There are many different moving pieces that must be considered in hosting a successful event with 12 teams, not the least of which are the travel logistics of up to a dozen players with two coaches for each team.
Turner Neal, Concordia’s Athletic Director, describes the true drive and dedication by the Concordia community that makes this international sporting event possible. He states that “the most complex part about hosting APAC is finding homes for every student athlete that is traveling.” He adds, “the hosts are the most important part of the tournament. The shared experience and the bond between students from different schools is very interesting to me.”
Emphasizing the connections between families and players, Mr. Neal says “if we changed the traditional homestays to a hotel stay, the dynamic of the tournament would be different. The relationships that are created through these homestays are very interesting to me because we have students from all around Asia come to Shanghai.”
Sharing another leadership perspective, Varsity Coach Brandon Fraseur, states “playing in a three-day tournament of any size takes endurance and perseverance.” He reflects, “the biggest takeaway for our athletes participating will be in the satisfaction of knowing that it took an entire team effort to get the job done through six games.”
Mass tournaments such as the Super APAC allow the competitors to strive for a bigger title while pushing themselves to play against a broader field of competition. Coach Fraseur feels “there is something very special about finishing the season in front of our fans and community.”
Raine Yu, the captain of the girls team, shares the excitement and anxiety that is bound up in a home-crowd competition. “To be honest, I am pretty nervous,” she says. “My last Super APAC was when I was a freshman but I didn't get playing time. This time, I am a senior that rarely gets taken off the court.” She adds, “I am also excited to have (my last) super APAC at home, where my team and I can be supported by strong community spirit.”
Steven Sgourdos, the assistant Varsity basketball coach, follows up stating “I am excited for our Phoenix to take positive momentum into Super APAC. The girls are all great ambassadors for the school, and the athletics program at large.” Coach Sgourdos adds, “this is an accomplishment that extends far beyond the win and loss column of basketball.”
Through this tournament as a player I have learned a lot regarding the unique opportunity that we are granted through hosting the Super APAC. The many friendships that were made reflect Mr. Neal’s opinion about the significant value of homestays. There was an intense spirit of competition that was communally shared, and a drive to play that bonded teammates and competitors alike. Hosting super APAC has been one of the most special experiences that I have experienced during my time at Concordia. The home crowd’s unconditional support extended to all teams as younger generations in the elementary classroom cheered for teams from all over East Asia. As a player there was ample encouragement provided by the fans, coaches, the student livestream team and Ms. Rizzo, our Athletic Trainer. Super APAC basketball will be remembered as a success, with magic being made by the entire Concordia community.
Hannah R. is a writer who enjoys merging her interest in storytelling with her passion for sport.