Part of being in an international program are the chances for newexperiences and opportunities. GIA is absolutely no exception to this. Thisyear, our Sixth Graders (6.1 and 6.2) are showing just how quickly they canlearn and master new skills, both in and out of the classroom.
Mr.Jonathan Lake, the GIA Physical Education teacher, has been spending long hourspreparing the kids to compete in the 2016 PRC International School T-BallAssociation. 20 of our students attended the competition held at Southern ChinaNormal University. Our kids were attending along with students from the BritishSchool of Guangzhou (BSG), the Canadian International School (CIS), theInternational School of DongGuang (ISD), ISA International School (ISA), andthe Chinese Language School of Guangzhou (CLS). Each of these teams had beenpreparing for varying amounts of time, yet they all came together in the spiritof sportsmanship and competition in the international community.
Our first game was against the British School of Guangzhou, the reigning champions.Because it was our first game, GIA got out to slow start as we tried toacclimate to playing against another team and trying to remember all the rules.BSG ended up batting in seven runs as compared to our three in the firstinning. However, our GIA kids are fast learners who quickly took to heart theimportance of teamwork. By the third inning, we held them to only four runs fora final score of 10-19. Despite the scoreboard saying that we lost, theexperience from that game would propel our team into a great day of T-ball.
In the second game, against the Chinese Language School of Guangzhou, our GIA kidsreally started to shine. They encouraged each other, banded together, moved,and worked like one well-oiled machine. They batted well, ran fast, and fieldedeven better. Under the expert leadership of Mr. Lake, they took everything theyhad learned from the first game, applied it to the current game, and won with afinal score of 17-13.
In between games, the Association had prepared many different ways for the kids totrain and practice. There were batting cages, pitching stations, and a battingtrainer. Our students took full advantage of these and the GIA kids couldalways be found trying to throw more accurately and hit harder. But there wasone more thing that kept happening at the breaks: Our kids were busy makingfriends with members from other teams. They were excited and willing to talk tokids from all different backgrounds and learn alongside them. This is what thetournament was really all about. Yes, it was chance to play a new sport andcompete against others, but just as much, it was a chance for Huamei GIA kids to to be on display, get the word out about our program, and show otherinternational schools that our kids can play right alongside of them, in andout of the classroom. The connections and friendships that our kids formed atthe tournament are very valuable, both for the students and the school.
In our final game against the Canadian International School, after a long, hot dayon the field, our kids were tired, yet they still gave ittheir all. Against all these factors, they became the only team at thetournament to have a perfect inning, with all of our batters making it all theway to home safe for a score of 12 runs in the first inning. During that inning,we also had three boys and one girl hit homeruns, with one of them being agrand slam (three people on base, plus the batter, made it home!). The GIA teamwon the game with final score of 21-15.
Our team returned back to school with our heads held high. After the day, we aretied for second place alongside the British School, with two more games to playon November 17th. If anyone doubted how committed our students areto this tournament, all they would have to do is listen when Mr. Lake askedthem if they wanted a day off from training tomorrow to rest. Without lookingto their friends or hesitating, they screamed, “NO!” We have the best students,both in and out of the classroom, and our Grade Six students just showed usthat one more time.