story Dave Chappell and Xie Yihao, Sports Editors
The Yale-NUS College Tchoukball Team enjoyed great success in the first-ever inter-varsity level sports tournament organized by Yale-NUS. One of the two teams emerged as the undefeated champion.
On Saturday, Oct. 24, Yale-NUS hosted teams from two local universities and three Junior Colleges (JCs) in the Yale-NUS tchoukball invitationals. The tournament included two inter-varsity teams, Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and the current top three teams in the National Inter School A Division Tchoukball Championships, School of the Arts (SOTA), Anderson Junior College (AJC) and Hwa Chong Institution (HCI).
The main goal of the invitational was to show that Yale-NUS “could compete at inter-varsity level and win,” said Jon Tan ’17, co-captain of the tchoukball team. According to co-captain Rachel Ong ’17, it was also to give regular players who did not have the opportunity to compete in the Inter-Faculty Games (IFGs) a chance to play at that level of intensity.
Tan and Ong had intended to spread the more experienced players out across two teams, but later decided that fielding a Team A and Team B would be more conducive to their goals. Team A’s lineup was similar to the IFGs team, while Team B comprised other regular players, including those who would normally have played as reserves. “It was a good learning experience to learn the skills, techniques and team dynamics of the stronger teams,” Team B member Nyang Bing Lin ’18 said.
While Team A was unbeaten, Team B defeated SUTD, but did not advance from the group stage after losing to HCI and SOTA by slim margins, according to Tan and Ong. AJC captain Ching Zheng Ing, and SOTA captain Veda Sutedjo, both said that they were impressed by the level of competition in the tournament.
The invitational was conceptualized by Athletics Director Wain Khoo to bring an inter-varsity level competition to Yale-NUS, Tan said. The tchoukball team was not able to do so until this year with the new full-sized Multi Purpose Hall (MPH) to host the tournament.
Ong said that the Athletics Department “went above and beyond what [the tchoukball team] initially proposed,” in assistance. They funded extra dining hall meals for guests and offered to sponsor an on-site ambulance for safety precautions. Tan said the event would not have been possible without Dean’s Fellow James Shirvell.
Ching and Sutedjo both said that the event was well-organized. Ching said, “The transitions between each match were fast and this ensured minimal delay.”
But school events could have been coordinated better, Tan and Ong said. A fire alarm testing was scheduled on the day of the invitationals. “Thankfully, the games were not affected,” Ong said.
The Yale-NUS tchoukball team has expanded, and this tournament was a good opportunity to prepare more players for inter-varsity level games that are gendered, Tan said.
Both Tan and Ong said they hoped the tournament could become a Yale-NUS institution. Since a lot of organizational groundwork has been done, future captains would find organizing the tournament easier, Tan said. The tournament could be expanded, since only two of the six local universities participated this round.
The tchoukball team reached out to all six university teams in the organization of the tournament, but only two of the teams were able to make it due to the timing of the event.
The tchoukball team is currently looking to organize a friendly fixture against the National University of Singapore.