“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”——Dolly Parton
Since the start of the global pandemic in 2019, the students and teachers at XLIS have become masters in the art of adapting to change. In a time where things can change from one day to the next, the ability to overcome obstacles, adapt to new circumstances and maintain a positive outlook on life is an essential skill set. Nowhere has that skill set been more evident at XLIS than in the recent cancellation of Chang’an Cup.
Last year, the first annual Chang’an Cup took place on the XLIS campus, with our school hosting boy’s and girl’s basketball teams from seven schools around Xi’an. Last year’s event was a huge success, and anticipation for this year’s Chang’an Cup was high, with even more schools scheduled to participate, and a larger girl’s team division. XLIS boy’s and girl’s basketball teams had worked hard practicing through the fall/winter sport season in preparation for the tournament, hoping to showcase their skill on the court.
However, days before the event was planned to take place, it was announced that due to the pandemic situation developing in Xi’an, it was no longer safe to host an event amongst the different international schools in the city. It was with a very heavy heart that coaches and players received the news of the cancelation. Everyone involved in the tournament, from the event organizer Mr. Zack Dwyer, to the coaches of the boy’s (Mr. Luke Osborn, Mr. Chad Boudreau and Mr. Sky Du) and girl’s (Ms. Alexandra Stewart and Ms. Haeyoung Chung) teams, and the student athletes themselves, were terribly disappointed.
As basketball fans poured into the gym, the excitement was palpable. For the girl’s teams, it was the first time for many of the players to play a full game in front of a huge crowd. The girls played their hearts out and really showed how far they had come over the course of their season of training. The teams were well-matched and gave it their all for the full 40 minutes. Leaving everything on the court, the game finished in a tie, with each team scoring 12 points each.
The boy’s team was then ready to take on the XLIS teachers in a battle to decide which wins out: youth and energy, or wisdom and experience? The teams and the fans were evenly matched, with secondary students cheering on their classmates and primary school students cheering on the teachers. Both teams gave it their all – with the high school boys displaying amazing shows of skill, speed and aggressive play and the teachers showcasing effective passing, determined rebounding and some surprising steals. The game ended in a tie, with each team scoring 24 points.
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Alexandra Stewart (Primary Visual Arts Teacher & Girl’s Team Coach)