Talking QSI Athletics with John Kenealy
QSI offers a great athletic program to their secondary school students in Shekou. Volleyball, soccer, basketball, cross country running, golf, table tennis, swimming, track and field, badminton and tennis are all widely played at Quality Schools International Shekou.
‘We are members of two separate conferences, the Pearl River Delta Conference as well as the Orange Division of ACAMIS’ (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools), John Kenealy, QSI Secondary School Athletic Director and ACE (Art & Cultural Events) Coordinator explains. ‘We have all these great sports to play for our boys and girls and we want to provide them with multiple opportunities to compete against other schools.’
‘In the ACAMIS league we play against schools from Beijing and Shanghai which means that there is a lot of travel involved. Even when we play against schools in Guangzhou it sometimes is a four-hour return trip to Shekou during afternoon rush hour, so we are turning more and more towards organizing games and tournaments during the weekend to get more actual playing time,’ John continues.
Another solution to this problem is the increased collaboration with Shekou International School to organize games against each other and to cohost tournaments. ‘Of course the students might still see it as a bit of a cross town rivalry when they play against each other but we are very pleased to be working closely with our neighboring international school, Shekou International School, to make this happen. It is in both of our best interest and a real win-win situation for both schools,’ Kenealy says.
For many international schools athletics and ACE are important components. The same goes for QSI. ‘We had a very successful year where both our boys and our girls won their volleyball division. Our boys won the basketball division as well as the sportsmanship award, an award that we see as a big deal and are very proud of,’ John explains. ‘On the ACE side of things, in a few weeks we will be sending nearly 30 high school and middle school students to a MUN (Model United Nations) simulation in Xiamen.’
‘Our cross-country runners did extremely well this season as well as our swim team. 20 of our students went to the UNIS Swim Meet in Hanoi, Vietnam. For many of the students this was their first Swim Meet experience and they had a wonderful experience!’ We don’t necessarily always measure success by the number of trophies and medals but it is the Year of the Dragon (the QSI Mascot) and these successes indicate that our coaches and athletes are doing a great job!’
Kenealy further explains, ‘There are always challenges to face and being an international school you know that the student turnover is high. One year you can have the best soccer team in the league but find yourself rebuilding half the team the following season. I find it very challenging and exciting. Although we are sad to see the students go, it creates space for different players to step up and take the leadership role as well as teaching our students how to work along side a wide variety of personalities and cultures.
Sports and Cultural Events such as Model United Nations and Knowledge Bowl are such important learning tools and at QSI it is something we value deeply. We are very excited to continue to further develop our Athletic Department and ACE offerings during the coming years!’
For more information visit: QSI Athletics