Phoenix Report: Basketballers fight it out in SEASAC 2019
By Stephanie Kim, Grade 10, Dover Campus
The weekend of 25 January was truly an eventful one, with SEASAC Basketball, Tennis, Rugby and Touch competitions going on simultaneously in Singapore and Jakarta. In our very own sports halls, intense basketball matches took place throughout the three days.
SEASAC is the biggest competition of the year and is the time when all the training the U19 A teams do - the 6am exercises, the late nights in the gym, and the buckets and buckets of sweat - finally pays off. This year, there was all the more pressure for the school's basketball teams as SEASAC would be held at home. 11 schools from various countries in South East Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, visited our school to engage in the competition.
The boys kicked off the tournament with their first game against Bangkok Patana School (BPS), which they won 55:44. Even at the early hour of 8am, numerous students and faculty came to offer their support. The sports hall was filled to the brim with spectators who covered every spare inch of the floor that was not part of the court. In fact, throughout the weekend, there was an exceptional amount of support for both the boys and girls teams. Students ranging from light blue shirts to white shirts all dropped by to watch and cheer our teams on. During one of the girls' games, the students of Primary School P.E. classes lined the walls of the Junior Sports Hall, chanting at the tops of their lungs, "Let's go Phoenix, let's go!". The voices of the young supporters lifted the spirits of everyone in the room and gave the players newfound strength and energy.
One could say that it was one of the most successful SEASACs the school has seen in many years in terms of results. After a weekend of passionate competition, both the boys and girls teams went home with gold medals without losing a single game throughout the entire competition. Although the girls had been defending champions for six consecutive years, this was the first time the boys had won since 2013.
However, it must be made clear that not everything is about the results. The wins may have earned us another two trophies for the trophy case, but the long months of training amount to more than just a few minutes running up and down a basketball court. What completes the SEASAC experience are the relationships, memories, and skills made and developed for both the players and the spectators. "Through SEASAC I met so many new people and became close to people in my team and also in other teams," said Ishita Jain, a member of the girls' SEASAC basketball team. "I got to know people in my team through training with them and I got to meet new people over the weekend as well." Another member of the team, Kyra Finkelstein described the experience as "one of the highlights of high school".
Sports is a force that unites. While watching one of the boys' games from the bleachers, in the midst of a cheering crowd, I felt strangely at home as I had never felt before. For the first time, I physically felt 'school spirit' surrounding me as everyone came together in one voice to cheer. Despite everyone being strangers, all the supporters shared the happiness and thrill felt in the moment. At that instant, I felt privileged to be a member not just of a sports team, but of a larger conference that draws people closer; not only as a competitor but also as a spectator.
This piece was originally published on Dover Today, a student-run publication established in 2017. Dover Today's mission is to encourage all members of the UWCSEA community, from students to staff, to use their platform to express themselves, whether that is through a news article, opinion piece or photography.