Hundreds of students gathered at the University of Seoul on Saturday for the annual International Students’ Cultural and Sports Festival.
The festival, organized by Korea International Students’ Support Association and Grand Korea Leisure, saw students from universities across the country compete in soccer, basketball, dodgeball and cricket.
The soccer tournament was won by the Camasko Lions, competing in the festival for the second year. The team edged out former champion and last year’s runner-up Inter Ajou in a close penalty shootout, after a scoreless draw in the final.
Cricket was included for the second year running, with the Pakistan Students Association beating the Hanyang Smashers in the final of the eight-over knockout tournament.
Udara Silva played for the Sri Lankan Strikers, an early casualty in the cricket tournament. He is a casual player in his native Colombo, where he practices boxing, but was enjoying the friendly but competitive spirit.
“We have our own tournaments between Sri Lankan students, but this is my first time playing with students from some other countries or coming to this kind of event,” he said.
“When we play with other Sri Lankans we can communicate in our own language, but here I think team spirit was really good because we know each other really well. I think we played really well, but it was a tough time.”
Women’s dodgeball was won by Sejong Konkuk Vietnam, who beat an all-Chinese team from Dankook University.
The men’s basketball was won by Friends, while all-Mongolian team Star beat PSA in the women’s final.
|PIKO (in white) launches an attack in its men’s basketball semifinal against Dankook University during the International Students’ Cultural and Sports Festival at the University of Seoul on Saturday. (Paul Kerry/The Korea Herald)|
Venedict Yap was playing on the Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea (PIKO) side in men’s basketball. His side lost in the final, but he said he still had a good time.
“It was fun. We met a lot of international students, a lot of Chinese and Korean and Japanese students,” he said.
The team was mainly composed of Filipinos, but also had a player from Ghana. Watching from the sidelines was fellow Ghanaian Raphael Edu-Gyan, who had to cancel his involvement due to school commitments.
Edu-Gyan said that he would have liked to play football, but that it was not easy for people not already in a team to get involved.
“If individual players want to form a team there is no communication or things like that. We need to form a team and come and play, and that’s quite difficult,” he said.
People in his course at Sungkyunkwan University had been setting up a team, but he said it was still at a casual level.
KISSA assistant director Sara Rai said that the festival had slimmed down from last year, but that had allowed for smoother organization. She was also pleased to see many teams returning to the event.
“For most of the teams, this was their third or fourth (year of) participation. So it seems like the teams have made it a tradition or culture to meet each other through this event and play games together,” she said.
Other sideline events such as tug-of-war, a sack race and a raffle were held, and cultural performances including songs by a Russian duo, a performance by a cheerleading squad and a traditional Vietnamese dance rounded off the event before the awards ceremony.
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org)