In celebration of International Education Week (IEW) 2014, the Center for International Service (CIS) and the Department of Athletics co-sponsored its very first CSI International Sports Day with the Office of Intramurals and Recreation on Monday, November 17, 2014 from 12:00pm- 6:00pm at the Sports & Recreation Center’s Main & Auxiliary Gymnasiums (1R). International Education Week was celebrated at the College of Staten Island from November 13 through November 21 this year. The purpose of this event was to promote international understanding and build support for educational exchange. What the main goal begin that all students to learn about why and how sports from all around the world are internationally known, by not only reading our “Did you know?” posters, but by playing in the game they were interested in while socializing with other students who have the same interests. We encourage the entire campus community to get involved with our planned events in order to make an impact.
The first ever International Sports Day was a great success with over 60 student participants. Winnie Brophy, special programs coordinator at the CIS, said, “It was truly a team effort with the staff from the Athletic Department and the Center for International Service. We would not have been able to realize this event without the great work of Salvatore Caruso, intramural & recreation coordinator, and his staff who set-up different play stations, posters and worked the event. The Center researched the “Did You Know?” posters and there were a lot of interesting facts about the history of each sport.”
Each gym was set up as an open concept style with six different internationally known sports: basketball, soccer, badminton, floor hockey, volleyball, and table tennis/foosball. Some students visited the brand new gym for the first time and all students seemed to love the experience, as it opened their eyes to what CSI offers to them and to all the friendly staff members who are there to help. The event was also approved as both a PG and CC credit for students because of the learning aspect and physical activity portions. In order to receive both credits, students had to play in at least three of the six sports and complete a special hand-out asking them to write something interesting they learned about each sport, either by playing or reading the poster boards. Each sports station held mini tournaments and contests (for prizes) within their respective sports. For example, basketball held 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 games and knockout challenges, volleyball played simple 4-on-4 or spike challenges, soccer and floor hockey held penalty shot contests and the other sports played mini tournaments.
Working with the CIS was a pleasure and something Athletics & Intramurals looks forward to continuing to do every year in hopes of it becoming a tradition here at the College. Debra Clinton from CIS went on to say: “I was a great opportunity for international students to be able to walk on the gym floor and to find out about what “intramural” means. Several students weren’t aware that they could play sports at CSI and not be on ‘the basketball team’ or ‘the soccer team’. I feel that this was a good way to make them feel more comfortable at the gym.” Clinton went on to add, “International students are sometimes shy about fitting in, especially with sports, but this was a good way of interacting with other students.”
In closing, the event saw many great smiles and laughs throughout the day and we will continue to make it grow by expanding its capabilities next year as we evaluate the pros and cons of the day and use this experience to make it that much better for all students to socialize, learn and adapt with one another in celebration of IEW.