International societies throughout the University may have more in common than you think. Not only are they all seeking to improve communication between each other, but another burning desire has also become evident – football. Henceforth, the Exeter University International Football Cup 2015 was created.
The aim was to use sport as a vehicle to enhance relations between the societies, with the desire that unity would be achieved on the football field despite nationalities.
A total of 11 teams – Slavic team (Russian and Ukranian Societies), Kazakh, Bulgarian, Chinese, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysian, European, Italian, Welsh, African and Carribbean societies – took part in the tournament.
The event went on for three and a half hours. European Society won the penalty shootout against Bulgarian Society, who got a silver medal. Chinese society came third with a bronze.
“We played 7 intense games! The atmosphere was competitive but also fun ! And honestly, it was a big surprise for us that we won, as we never thought we would in the first place.” said Pierre Lebard, the European Society player who scored the last penalty.
Jason So, the captain of the Hong Kong Society Team, said: “I thought it was a great opportunity for people from different societies to come together and enjoy football. Even though everybody spoke different languages, football acted as a universal language. It was a great experience as it provided a platform for competition while maintaining a friendly environment for societies.”
The event has been organized by Richard Rubo and Vadim Evseev, committee memebers of the Russian Society.
Vadim commented: “Personally, I was inspired by two things. Firstly, the World Cup 2018 is taking place in my home country! Secondly, it was my personal desire to organize this type of event! I have participated in different football tournaments, but I have never organized one before.”
Richard added: “EIFC 2015 is a massive step for our society. I am endlessly happy with the turnout and the feedback we got after the event. I would like to say massive thank you to all the societies invloved! I am also incredibly grateful to the Student Guild for supporting our idea.”
The organizers wish to make the International Football Cup a regular occurrence. Moreover, other societies’ leaders said they are willing to help with the organisation in the future.