A student’s first few weeks at the university is a blur of new faces in a foreign environment, an exciting but challenging prospect in equal measure. The Freshers’ Sports Tournament is the perfect bridge to this new phase of life, designed specifically to make the transition into university life as enjoyable and rewarding as possible, and most importantly to show students that their time at University doesn’t have to be solely academics.
After the happy go lucky orientation period, the dawn of academics hits most students like a train. If the transition from O/Ls to A/Ls was difficult, then the transition from A/Ls to University academics is all the more demanding. From staying awake at night to try and complete 10 page assignments, and then struggling to stay awake at lectures the next day, the first few weeks of academics can be tough. It takes a while to get accustomed to. The Freshers’ Tournament distracts first years of every faculty from that.
During this period the university transforms into a frenzy of activities, as students from all faculties descend to the playground and indoor stadium to take part in a dizzying choice of sports activities from volleyball to scrabble or cricket to karate. But it is not the participants who create the true atmosphere of the Fresher’s Tournament, it is the spectators, who come in numbers with their inventive chants and creative banners to cheer and spur on their colleagues, some of whom are not even properly acquainted with each other yet but united under the banner of one faculty. The sight of hundreds of students from every part of the country, from the most different of backgrounds uniting together as one voice is truly heartwarming and I doubt that it can be seen anywhere else. Of course this is one of the main purposes of the whole tournament, to unite all students regardless of their social or ethnic backgrounds. The unity and camaraderie that was exhibited at the Freshers Tournament was truly breathtaking. During the Athletics events the spectators probably ran more than the participants, and not one person was left behind with even the final runner being cheered on to the finish line by all the onlookers. The competition between faculties remained friendly throughout the tournament, never hostile with teams even sharing boots and equipment among each other. Students were all encouraged to take part in some sport, and not just the ones they were good at; they were encouraged to attempt other sports and take on new challenges. There were boys who hadn’t held a rugby ball in their lives taking the field during the Rugby tournament and acquitting themselves rather well with just two weeks of training.
Of course behind all the fun there is a serious purpose to the whole event. Namely, to help students settle in, meet fellow students and make new acquaintances from your faculty and others likewise, getting to know your seniors and join sports and activities that interest you.
If you could sum up the Freshers Tournament in one word its TIRING. With events taking place simultaneously at different places the pressure to be involved in everything and not miss anything coupled with trying to stay on track with the lectures is a major test of stamina for even the most balanced people. Getting the most out of the two weeks presents a challenge in itself. A challenge that would have been insurmountable if not for the assistance of the seniors who spent days and nights constantly checking up on us and providing advice to everyone who required it. Their dedication was awe-inspiring and spurred all of us on when the going got tough, because if not for us, we had to do our best for the seniors who toiled and spent their valuable time for us. Without their assistance the Freshers Tournament would not have been as enjoyable as it was for all of us. Not just the seniors from one’s own faculty, seniors from different faculties were seen offering words of advice during sports activities to students from other faculties.
This shows us the unbreakable bond that is formed here, because although it was a competition at the end of the day we are all part of the same University. Finally my advice to all future freshers is to enjoy the two weeks for what it is, a great opportunity to find your feet at University and make new friends. The trick is to attempt do as much as possible without overexerting yourself. With some sensible planning and self restraint, it can turn out to be an experience you will treasure forever.