This past weekend, HD Ningbo School hosted a truly extraordinary, international event - its 1st Annual "Friends, Football, and Fun Tournament".
As many of us have experienced in our lives, sport can be a very unifying engagement. Such a simple concept as kicking a ball around a field turns competitors and coaches into practitioners of invaluable life lessons such as teamwork, respect, commitment, positive communication, team spirit, determination, and an honest passion for doing one's best. Watching six teams from different cultural backgrounds unified by the love they share for a game is enough to put a smile on anyone's face. And that is the magic that was truly witnessed on Saturday, April 9th. This was a special event that captured the spirit of what we, here at HD Ningbo School aim to achieve.
With the sun slowly burning away the dark rain clouds that had enveloped us the days before, 2 teams from the Hangzhou International Football Club, Ningbo International School, Jiang Dong Xiao Shi, and 2 teams from our own HD Ningbo School came together to play in a football tournament. Each team played three matches and the players were visibly exhausted by the end.
But what stood out was not only the football matches,this was something more - high fives being given, players lending a hand to those who had fallen, and healthy cheers from the parents. Everyone was having fun together! The impact of that lasts far longer than the day. It creates a lifetime of happy memories. The closing ceremony brought about another meaningful moment. Players were asked to bring a small gift to exchange with a player from a different team. It was during that short exchange that players saw that language was not a barrier, but rather a tool used to make a friend and express gratitude, respect, and appreciation. A friend who shares a common love for the game of football.
Friendly handshakes and warm smiles between competitors ensured our tournament endedexactly the way we envisioned - a unifying engagement, a brilliant day of football, perfect weather, friends making friends, and smiles all around.