Football Match: Staff vs Students

At 3:30 pm on the first Sunday of spring, 22nd March 2015, an exciting football match was held in the Joint Sports Centre between the CityU staff team and the incoming exchange students. The match ended in a hard fought 5-1 victory for the exchange students.

The match was jointly organized by the Global Services Office (GSO) and Dr John Nowland from the Department of Accountancy. Dr Nowland was very excited before the game, “Seeing the enthusiasm, it looks like it’s going to be a good match!” It definitely was!

The opening 5 minutes were filled with exciting, expansive, attacking football during which the exchange students scored their first goal. The staff team was quick to respond. They had the experience of playing together, as the staff team practises every Sunday religiously! The student team struggled to keep the ball away from the staff for long. The match was played with such energy that an outsider would not have been able to tell that players of such varied ages were playing.

By the first half, the exchange team had scored 3 goals. The second half started like the first until midway through, when the staff began dominating and scored their first goal. However, the student team recharged themselves and scored another 2 goals to seal the match with a 5-1 victory at the final whistle.

Lakhvir, an exchange student from London said, “This was a special match, as I have never played against a staff team back home. We have football leagues, but they are only open to students. This was a new experience for me”.

Stefan, another exchange student from Austria, appreciated CityU’s efforts to bring exchange students closer to Hong Kong life. The constant emails and updates about new activities organised by the University for exchange students has enriched his experience of studying abroad.

Marcela from the USA said that she had fun participating in the football match as it gave her a chance to interact closely with the staff. She has also attended day trips to different outlying islands arranged by her department, and feels that leisure activities with staff help to build relationships with advisors and teachers, especially when studying in a university overseas.

Mr Billy Ho, who is one of the founding members of the CityU staff team, said that this was a unique experience for him, as his team has always played against teams of similar age groups. The CityU staff team has been playing and practising football for around 20 years now and has organised matches with many departments.

According to one of the staff team members, they have players who are 70 years old and yet are fitter than most 40 year olds! He noted that the exchange students were very strong, young and active, giving them an edge, and that some of the players had amazing skills that are not often seen in Hong Kong.

It was an afternoon well spent that represented a new step in improving communication and relationships between staff and exchange students.