1 May, 2017

NZCA Annual Sports and Cultural Tournament Easter Christchurch 2017

Paddy Ou

On the 13th of April, the OSCA contingent embarked on the 69th Easter tournament. This event is one of the highlights in the calendar and many of us were keen to enjoy the sports and socials. It also gave us the opportunity to catch up with friends living in different parts of New Zealand. Although we had arrived in torrential rain, our spirits weren’t dampened as we were determined to impress both on and off the court.

The event kicked off with an opening ceremony on Friday. Here we were treated to some Chinese performances such as martial arts, Chinese music and a lion dance. These acts were very impressive and showed us the level of effort which went into this tournament. After feeling very cultured, we were ready to play some sports. The Friday night saw Indoor football and tennis being played. Having two teams in the indoor football and the coaching of Shamus Moffatt, both soccer teams were confident in their chances. However, a last-minute goal from Wellington meant that neither team made the finals. In the tennis, Brittany Wong and Paddy Ou won the mixed doubles 4-3 against Canterbury in a very close final. For the men’s doubles, Abraham Kan was called up to make his OSCA debut. Despite an impressive debut, Canterbury was too solid in the final, winning 6-2. After the first day of sports, we headed to the first social at Mish Mash to socialize and have some fun.

On the second day of sports, it was the turn of the basketball, netball and touch players to showcase their skills. The men’s basketball team, led by Colin Chin, definitely had their work cut out against some very strong teams. However, a couple of wins secured a semi-final against Canterbury on Sunday. Our U17 basketball team also had some good wins. For the women’s basketball team, it was always going to be a challenge coming up against some very physical teams. Coached by Brittany Wong, Tara King and Lisa Yue, the team put in a big effort even though results didn’t fall our way. It was a similar story with the outdoor and indoor netball teams as they were up against some very good teams. The mixed touch team, led by Regan Young, also had some tough competition to contend with. With a few players having never played touch before, it was a good experience for all. Having had some tough round-robin matches, the touch team managed to scrape into the 3rd and 4th playoff for Sunday. After a tough day on the sports field, we looked to relax at the Comic-Con themed social at Zanzibar. Coming in as Pop Art characters, Captain Underpants and Ninja Turtles, we were clearly the best dressed out of all the contingents.

After two straight days of sports and socials, fatigue was really starting to kick in. However, court-side naps and the much-acclaimed canteen kept us going. The first event of the day saw our runners compete in the athletic events. Our men’s and women’s 100m relay teams were able to place with solid runs. For the long-distance running, OSCA outshone all the other contingents. First, Heidi Chin led the whole way to win the women’s 800m. Jonathan Young finished second in the men’s mile, however, he was awarded first place when the winner was disqualified for cutting corners. Returning to the event centre, the touch team played the 3rd and 4th playoff against Auckland. Having lost to this team earlier in the tournament, a much-improved performance resulted in a win. Special mention goes to Regan Chen for a crucial ankle tap. The basketball team then took to the court for their semi-final against Canterbury. With key players injured or away, it was always going to be a tough ask and in the end, Canterbury was too good. At the end of the day, the highly anticipated dodgeball competition took place. Entering two teams, OSCA was all over the other contingents. Shamus Moffatt’s lethal arm was too much to handle and our under 14 boys were running riot on the other teams. For the final, it was no surprise that both OSCA teams faced off against each other. After another tough day of sports, we went to a house party where beer pong and tired dance moves were the predominant activities.

On the final day of sports, most of our teams had finished their matches. However, our U21 women’s basketball team had managed to battle their way to the final against Wellington. Playing some great basketball, the team showed they were up for a fight. On the day though, Wellington was too good and were deserving winners. Having finished all the sports, we took the rest of the day off to watch the final basketball games and to have a look around the city. To wrap up the whole tournament, we suited up for the glamorous awards banquet at Madame Kwong’s restaurant. With delicious food being served, it was a good time to relax and to reflect on the past couple of days. After the trophies for the sports winners were given out, it was time for the Friendship cup to be awarded. As current holders, we were confident in retaining this coveted trophy. However, it was not to be as Wellington deservedly won the Friendship Cup. Though we were disappointed, we will be determined to win this back next year.                    

After a relatively quiet night, it was time to say our goodbyes on Tuesday. With all the fun experienced over the past couple of days, it was difficult to accept that it was all over. However, the experiences and the friendships formed will be cherished for years to come. Although the next Easter tournament is a year away, we will eagerly await the next opportunity to do it all over again. A special thanks must also be given to all the people who helped in organizing the trip beforehand and during the tournament.  These include, but are not limited to, Frances Wong, Linus and Leanne Chin, and Gabe Lau. Special thanks for Amy Fong who took and catalogued some amazing photos. Whilst we were having fun on and off the court, these people were organizing our meals, driving us around the place and essentially making sure the trip ran smoothly. Thanks also have to be given to the Christchurch organizers who ran the tournament smoothly. A lot of time and effort has been put into this event and we owe a great deal to the people who organized it behind the scenes. With another Easter tournament done and dusted, we look forward to the next one in Wellington, where we will look to win our Friendship cup back.  


View photos here