For the first time in the history of SIS participation in Association of International Schools in Asia (AISA) hosted tournaments, the varsity girls basketball team took first place, undefeated throughout the entire tournament at Senri & Osaka International School (SOIS). This was an impressive milestone for the team, representing the tremendous amount of effort that was put in by the players. In addition, on Jan. 24-27, the varsity boys basketball team, math team, and student council members participated in various AISA events in Japan and Korea, performing admirably. The SIS varsity boys basketball team traveled to Yokohama International School (YIS) and placed third. Meanwhile, the Math Mania and Leadership teams hosted the event at SIS, with the math team placing first overall.
“I enjoy hosting and attending AISA events because the interactions, networking, and cultural exchange between students make it more than just a simple competition,” said Ivan Atanaskovic, high school athletics coordinator. “Furthermore, students who participate in such events gain an opportunity for new experiences because they can meet and compete with teams that they normally wouldn’t meet in KAIAC competitions.”
After two days of intense matches at SOIS, the varsity girls basketball team added a new title to the list of SIS achievements in athletics: first place team in AISA. In addition, Hannah Kim (12), Michelle Ahn (12), and Yoobin Lee (12) were also awarded All-Tournament patches for their excellent performances. Players recalled having an emotional ceremony after the well-deserved win which was also the last AISA tournament with the seniors. Meanwhile at YIS, although the boys’ team lost to YIS in the semi-finals by two points due to a tie-breaking buzzer beater, they eventually managed to win against SOIS in the losers’ bracket to take third place. Eddie Choe (10) and Bryan Hur (11) were awarded All-Tournament patches for their exemplary performances and the team received the sportsmanship award.
“I accumulated many new experiences att AISA this year and I especially enjoyed making new friends among the different players and getting closer to my team members,” said Asuka Kurebayashi (9), varsity girl basketball player. “I think that I was very lucky to be able to have this experience in 9th grade as a part of this amazing team. Yet, as a freshman, there is always something new to learn, and I hope to display improved performance next year.”
The Math Mania was a math competition held throughout January 24-26 at SIS and was comprised of many different rounds that tested both the participants’ abilities to collaborate with one another and individually solve math problems. Students participated in three individual rounds and three school team rounds, with each round being an hour long. After all the rounds were scored and compared between schools, the SIS math team eventually took the first place plaque with the highest score overall. At the same time, SIS also hosted the Leadership Conference where student council members from different schools attended events meant to enhance their teamwork and leadership skills. Specifically, they had serious discussions and presentations about school policies and issues, as well as cooperative activities, such as a scavenger hunt. At the end of arduous problem solving and conferencing, the math and leadership groups came together in a joint activity in which groups composed of different school members worked together and crafted a device to protect an egg in a four-meter drop.
“I cherished my time at AISA this year. Apart from solving math problems itself, which challenged me with difficult questions, this competition was an opportunity to meet new people with similar interests,” said Unnseo Park (11), Math Mania participant. “I got very close with my homestays and their friends and we had a lot of fun hanging out after the tournament. I would definitely want to participate next year because it would be nice to meet people from different schools and compete with them again.”
This year, teams from SIS, especially the varsity girls basketball team, set many great achievements at AISA tournaments. These meets are seen as opportunities for students to not only demonstrate their skills but also build new relationships with students attending other schools. AISA can either be a source of stress spurred by intense competition or a fun event in which students can take a break from school to interact with novel people. Nevertheless, students are left with a sense of sorrow in the end as they part ways with the people across different schools that share a common interest outside of academics. Eventually, they move on and look toward a new opportunity that is waiting in the coming year.