UNMC, hold on to your horses, Nations Cup Fever has struck.
Arguably the biggest annual sports event on campus returned for its 6th edition, with promises of it being bigger and better than all of its previous incarnations. This year the SA Sports Network in collaboration with the International Students Bureau has made it their ultimate goal to ensure that this edition of the Nations Cup is one students at UNMC will never forget!!
For all the newbies out there, the Nations Cup is considered one of the biggest events hosted on campus. Students from nations all around the world take part giving it their all, while aspiring to reach the summit of their respective discipline and make their Nation proud and hopefully win the Nations Cup.
The Nations’ Cup allows the entire student community to unite on a single platform thereby aiding in the formation of a diverse and unique student body. What better way to achieve this goal than through Sports, working together as a team, representing cultural individualitity thereby unifying the student body into a united community.
The Organising Team for the Nations Cup undoubtedly went out of their way to set up a tantalising Opening Ceremony for the Nations Cup. International Cultural Night meets Olympics, was arguably the dynamic organisers aimed for with their culturally diverse yet immensely colourful Ceremony.
The Opening Ceremony held on the 17th of November began at 6:30 pm (1830) with an International Food Carnival housing delicacies from all around the world, in addition to some free Redbull provided by the sponsors and a face painting booth, where students got into the spirit of the games with artful depictions of their countries flags adorned on their faces.
Around 8:00 pm (2000), the Ceremony in essence truly commenced, with a parade containing all the participating nations and their respective athletes. The parade done in alphabetical order contained a total of 30 different countries which in retrospect is a Nations Cup record.
All the participating nations were extremely vociferous, chanting their respective countries slogans with utmost fervour thereby contributing to an amazing atmosphere. After several requests to reduce the chants, the SA President, International Officer and Sports Officer gave some short speeches, following which the Sports Officer lead the participating nations in reciting the oath for the tournament, which championed sportsmanship and unity amongst other virtues.
A short interlude followed where Redbull was again distributed amongst the audience and participants which honestly could have been executed better, with numerous faces amongst the student populace looking downcast owing to them not getting Redbull.
Regardless, the Ceremonies continued with a torch relay comprising of the top 3 Nations from the previous edition of the tournament. India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia carried the torch handing it off to the Sports Officer who then proceeded to light the Nations Flame, symbolically declaring the start of the Nations Cup.
The festivities were then concluded with two events, first an exuberant display by the UNMC Cheer Club. The Beasts as they are affectionately known, delivered an enterprising performance, full of high flying acrobatics and standard cheer formations. Although there were some nervy moments and botched sets, the overall exuberance and spirit shown by the performers truly showcased the underlying message of the Nations Cup.
This was duly followed by a friendly mix football game, which bordered on the captivating and the somewhat boring intermittently. Although the crowds dwindled during this final event, the spirit between the participants remained. Kudos to the female footballers who displayed during the game that contrary to stereotypical belief, even they could slug it out with the men.
This concluded the Nations Cup Opening Ceremony, a truly colourfully eventful night.
We here at IGNITE, would like to congratulate the organising committee on a successful event, and hope the entire event plays to their expectations. We would also like to implore any and all members of the student community to attend the Games, either supporting their respective nation and/or cheering on the athletes as they give it their all, trying to make themselves and their nation proud.
Lastly, to the athletes,
May the odds be ever in your favour! 🙂