28 CDNIS students embarked on a Sports Adventure to New Zealand, at the start of the June holidays. Grade 6/7/8 Timberwolves had been invited to compete in an international sports camp held in Matamata, New Zealand. At the sports camp CDNIS teams competed against 7 other New Zealand Schools in a wide range of sports. These included traditional CDNIS sports like Swimming, Football, Volleyball, Rugby, Touch Rugby, Basketball, Golf, Netball, Tennis, Softball, Table Tennis, Track and Field and Cross Country. It also included non traditional and new sports to CDNIS students such as Field Hockey, Wall Ball, Cheerleading, Scramball, Chess, Draughts, Darts, Frisbee Golf, Indoor Bowls, Petanque, Cage Soccer and Kayaking. Our CDNIS teams really embraced the challenge and competed at the highest level. Athletes were competing in 5-6 sports per day for 5 days and this was followed by a full evening of inter school challenges and activities. It was tremendous to see our students embracing the new sports such as Wall Ball and Field Hockey as for many this was the first opportunity to play these competitively. It was also a great opportunity for CDNIS teams to take on New Zealand schools at sports that they were traditionally strong in, such as Rugby and Netball and in many cases our teams held their own and even dominated the competition. Rugby was a real highlight. Most schools expected the CDNIS Rugby team to struggle against the powerhouse NZ teams, however our boys won every match, including a thrilling extra time, length of the field try in the final to beat the strong Mt Maunganui School. Our rugby team epitomized the make up of most of our teams, 4-5 strong experienced players teamed up with 7-8 novice players new to the sport or playing it for the first time. This made the trip all the more valuable as it let all our athletes try new sports and compete and test them self in a competitive and fun environment. Our best results came in Rugby (Champions) Triathlon (Champions) Girls Volleyball (Champions) Table Tennis (Champions) and Swimming 2nd Place. These are remarkable results when you consider most of the other schools attending had held a series of try outs for their teams and had practices for the months leading up to the week long competition. Because of the amazing sportsmanship and great attitude of our CDNIS team, we have been invited back in 2017 as the sole international team at the sports camp. The sports were great but the special connections our athletes made with the hundreds of New Zealand student athletes were the highlight of the week. During the week all the local schools embraced the TWolves team and by the end of the week our students loved the interactions and friendships they had made. Our students also embraced the roles every team had to take on such as preparing dinner, doing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming their rooms and washing their clothes. For many these experiences were actually as new and as challenging as playing field hockey!
You would have thought that after 5 days of sport the team would have been exhausted? They were exhausted, but managed to find a new lease on life for the second part of our New Zealand Adventure. These adventures included luge, zorb, surfing, horse riding, mountain biking, Lord of the Rings visit, Marae Stay, Cultural exchange with the Maori people (learning Haka and Poi), All Blacks rugby test, Tree adventures, Hot Water Beach, Paintball and Jet boat rides. These experiences were enjoyed by all and made memories that will last a lifetime.
The growth in confidence, independence, group dynamics and the shared sense of fun were the real highlights of this trip. 28 students returned to Hong Kong on June 22 exhausted but very proud; happy and healthy and ready for their real holidays to start.
Adventures like this can only be made possible with the trust and support of parents and the commitment and generosity of our CDNIS teachers. A sincere thanks to Andrea Tessier, Rhonda Wildeman, Ching Chun, Ngan Chung for the leadership of the 2016 Sports Adventure.
Congratulations to Yuha, Jemima, Helen, Natascha, Sofia, Hannah, Sofia, Jennifer, Julianne, Laurain, Kai, Daniel, Jem, Jasper, Jack, Ryan, Lachlan, Chris, Brandon, Harry, Lance, Kashing, Silvy, Sean, Aiden, Thomas, Tyler and Benjamin; you were all awesome ambassadors for CDNIS and you made the Sports Adventure a great experience for all involved.