As this semester draws to an end, we take a look back at how the bonds within the USP community were forged through the Inter Faculty Games. We hope the USPirit can see USP students through the gruelling period of submitting end-of-semester papers and preparing for the exams. Take care and good luck, everyone!
Victory is not in the number of medals and accolades we have amassed, but in having fun and making memories with their newfound friends as one USP family. Beyond bridging our academic differences through our multi- and inter-disciplinary academic structure, we are brought together through sports.
This year’s annual Inter Faculty Games (IFG) was held from 20 August to 11 September 2016. The USP community trained hard in the lead up to the games and played hard bringing home great results, from the USP Road Relay team achieving their personal best to the USP Contact Bridge team winning first place!
Watching my peers train in solidarity has been a heartening experience. I remember walking by Chua Thian Poh Hall (CTPH) late at night on a Tuesday, tired from a day of school and just wanting to head back to my room. Given the hour, I did not expect to see the USP Tchoukball team hard at training and looking like they were having a whale of a time with one another, despite the team comprising vastly of new faces from exchange students to freshmen. USP Tchoukball Team Captain, Minh Tu Tran Anh (Chemical Engineering + USP, Class of 2019), shared that this IFG was “more for team bonding and ... it's a fun game!”. I have also seen my suite mate’s floorball stick making itself right at home in our living room, as her owner had fun playing a new sport. Or as she puts it, “enough exercise for a month”.
Until now, I have never realised exactly how bonding an IFG experience could be for the USP community. Looking at the photographs posted on the USP Facebook group USP Life! and various group chats, I got a warm fuzzy feeling seeing a mix of freshmen representing USP for their very first time, seniors playing their final IFG and even exchange students playing for Team USP. There is something magical about having people from different backgrounds coming together and setting aside differences, for a common goal. The final results and victory did not matter in the end. What mattered was the effort USP students put into training, the priceless experience, and the new friends they have made in the process.
This ties up with the vision that the USP IFG 2016 Project Director (PD), Dexter Thng (Life Science + USP, Class of 2019), had for the games. He wanted to create an environment where people could see IFG as the chance to try out new sports and make new friends. While a little competitive streak is always encouraged, he had hoped that the IFG could bond the different facets of our diverse community together. Victory is not in the number of medals and accolades we have amassed, but in having fun and making memories with their newfound friends as one USP family. Beyond bridging our academic differences through our multi- and inter-disciplinary academic structure, we are brought together through sports. IFG is another facet that makes USP a vibrant, fun and engaging community to be a part of.
At the IFG appreciation ceremony, I was reminded again that USP is an agglomeration of multiple disciplines by the various faculty shirts donned by our Team USP players. These distinctions had no place in Chatterbox (our common student lounge) that evening, especially not over a joyous pizza party.
The USP community would have noticed that at this year’s IFG, Team USP’s shirt colour has changed from the classic white to the USP signature cyan blue. The change in the shirt colour followed a poll posted on USP Life! Facebook group. Dexter called out for all USP students and alumni to vote for the change in shirt color, as well as consulted team captains for their opinions. The change was prompted by a simple practical concern, as Dexter explained, “quite a number of players have told us that the white shirts are easily stained from field games like touch rugby and frisbee.” With a 2:1 vote count in favor of the change, the push for cyan blue was made to the NUS Sports Club.
With the change of shirt colour, it has helped to foster a greater sense of identity amongst the USP community. Jeremy Jee (Computer Science + USP, Class of 2019), USP IFG 2016 Publicity In-Charge shared, “I feel that the colour change is good because it unifies USP colours for shirts [as there are different colours representing different ‘houses’ in our college]”. The signature USP cyan blue promotes USP’s uniqueness amongst other faculties. It is what ties USP students together even though we are all from different majors and faculties, with different interests and activities.
In the end, be it cyan blue shirt or not, winning a medal or not, it is the bonding that matters the most. IFG is a platform for us to achieve that, for the whole USP community to come together as one. Cheers to the USPirit, which would see us through our university life and beyond!