SABIS® Regional Tournament
The SABIS® International Schools in Adma and Choueifat proudly hosted the 8th Annual SABIS® Regional Tournament which attracted over 1000 participants from twenty-three SABIS® schools from thirteen countries; the event was particularly special for SABIS® this year as it coincided with the 125th Anniversary celebrations of the SABIS® School Network, and since it was hosted in Lebanon for the first time.
The host schools are members of the world-wide SABIS® school network which from its humble beginnings over 125 years ago, has developed into a network of international K-12 schools and a university in 15 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Pakistan, Africa, Europe, and North America with an approximate present enrolment of 60,000 students from over 100 nationalities.
The tournament’s opening ceremony was a grand occasion where all the teams marched on to the field accompanied by the music of the Military Orchestra of the Internal Security Forces. The ceremony started with a speech by H. E. Dr. Ali Abdallah, Minister of Youth and Sports, where he stressed the important role of the SABIS® School network, a prestigious educational institution that spreads education and knowledge throughout the various parts of the world. He wished SABIS® another century to embrace new generations and new countries.; Next, Mr. Victor Saad, Vice President of SABIS® Educational Services, welcomed the distinguished guests and the crowds; he cheered the participants on with an address from the heart stressing that “Playing sport is primarily a competition… This means…. that there will always be winners and losers,. but it is not only about winning or losing… it is also about participation… it is about team spirit… it is about learning to win with humility… and learning to lose with grace. In fact, there are benefits even to losing. Losing teaches us to accept setbacks – which are a part of life – to never become complacent and to continue to strive for improvement.” The speeches were followed by an array of performances from the three SABIS® schools in Lebanon. The shows varied from a solo English song to group songs and dances reaching the highlight of the ceremony, a traditional Lebanese folkloric dabke performed by around 120 students from ISC-Choueifat. H. E Dr. Ali Abdallah and H. E. Mr. Fadi Abboud then joined SABIS® Board members in the cutting of the ribbon marking the inauguration of the school’s magnificent new artificial sports field and running track. H. E. Mr. Fadi Abboud, Minister of Tourism, then kick-started the tournament by passing the ball announcing the first game and launch of the games.
Students representing SABIS® schools from Germany, Romania, Qatar, the U.A.E., Oman, Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Erbil, and Jordan vigorously competed in swimming, basketball, soccer, sprint, relay, and long jump with the highest athletic standards being set by all competitors and with an overwhelming spirit of true sportsmanship.
The two-day sporting function attracted many local and international spectators who thoroughly enjoyed the well-organized sporting events, the entertaining atmosphere, and lavish festivities.
The Lebanon schools put up an excellent performance with SIS-Adma winning the under 16 boys swimming and breaking the previously set record, and ISC-Choueifat leading the winning streak reaching all four final games and winning both the boys under 10 football and girls under 18 basketball trophies while coming 2nd place to ISC-Homs in the boys Under 18 basketball and also 2nd place to ISC-Amman in the under 14 football.
All SABIS® schools had their share of winning with Germany taking home a total of five gold medals in swimming and sprint; Egypt also taking home five gold medals in swimming and sprint with the rest of the Swimming and sprint gold medals shared between Jordan and Saudi Arabia while leaving the gold medals in long jump to ISC-Lahore and ISC-Amman.
The results included an impressive eleven new records breaking numbers set in previous years. Records were broken in boys sprint relay (ISC-Cairo), boys under 12 Sprint, (Mohammad Srour from ISC-Al Ain), under 16 boys sprint (Ahmad Alawneh from ISC-Amman), under 16 girls sprint (Ghalia Saudi from ISC-Amman), under 16 girls long jump (Natasha Seifert from ISF-Germany), under 16 boys long jump (Mohsin Mikhail from ISC-Lahore), under 16 boys swimming – breaststroke and free style (Amr Ahmad from ISC-Abu Dhabi), under 12 girls swimming – breaststroke (Fadia Achlan from ISC- Homs) and under 16 girls swimming – backstroke (Salma Azzam from ISC-Cairo). The Most Valuable Basketball Players awards went to Bryce Hudson from ISC-Al Ain and Tara Haidar Ahmad from ISC-Choueifat while the football Golden Boot Award went to Ahmad Mahmoud from ISC-Cairo and Nassem Al ANdi from ISC-Amman. From ISC-Qatar Khalid Al Baba was awarded the gold medal for his time of 8.02 seconds in the 60 meters race in the under 12 category. , Hassibullah Halimi was awarded the bronze medal in the 100 meters race in the under 16 category.
The tournament concluded on Saturday April 9 with the Lebanese national Anthem followed by a speech by Mr. Carl Bistany, President of SABIS®, where he thanked all participants for their high levels of sportsmanship and thanked the team behind the event for the efforts put in to ensure its great success; medals and trophies were then distributed amidst the cheering and clapping of the crowd. The event concluded with the cutting of the cake symbolizing the ending of the Regional Tournament.
Students returned home with a store of victories and great memories, looking forward to the 9th Tournament. This has been another great success for the SABIS® School Network and a great organizing effort by the Regional Tournament Committee and the SABIS® International Schools of Adma and Choueifat.