Challenge Cup

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Students preparring to bow to each other before the match

This week was exam week which is three days of exams followed by two days of sports tournaments, known as ‘challenge cup’. It includes mini games of soccer, handball, badminton, basketball, a Japanese board game and dodgeball. I always loved sports day in school but I’m pretty sure I was an exception with my enthusiasm, as students got older it became less exciting to them and in my last year of school I was part of only a handful that took part. It’s different here, every single student in this school could not have been more excited about these two days. They all took part, every single one of them and they all looked like they adored participating. The screeches in the gyms where quite deafening, sometimes even unbearable, but it proves my point, that they seemed extremely happy. Japanese girls are really really good at screeching. I felt like I was at a festival, with people running around all happy as larry, such a smiley two days. This morning in the staff meeting a teacher came up to me and said ‘Hannah, you me basketball playing, be 1pm gymnasium bring fun.’ Yes sir! Turns out a teachers team play the winning boys team in basketball, and he wanted me in the gymnasium, at 1pm, to play, and have fun. I arrived into the gym with the other five teachers on the team and to my shock the entire school was waiting and burst into screams. It was rather terrifying. Myself and the one other female took a half each, which was more than enough, I was never excellent at basketball! The only reason I got picked for the good teams in school was because the coach would place me under the basket and make me receive, stand and shoot for entire games. Basketball loves giraffe ladies like me!

The students started a chant after a teacher gave them a glorious translation ‘Hannah play fun in basketball, lets shoot.’

Needless to say I had great great fun with basketball and shoot.


Second Graders watching badmington


I also had my first handball training session with Nishi KoKo, I trained from 3.30pm to 6.30pm, pretty insane, it’s what they do six days a week. Tuesday they get to rest day, lucky girls hey? I was amazed by this sport I had never seen it being played with two nets instead of a wall like back home, they are a very skillfull team and I felt like an awful pigeon not knowing what the hell was going on. Practise makes perfect and its best to laugh of course. It’s a fairly aggressive sport they push each other quite a lot, but all in honour of sport of course. I got dumped on the ground quite a bit and I’m very surprised I didn’t crack the floor, compared to their dainty delicate falls I was like an oak tree falling in the Amazon. But again just laugh and the pain will ease! I’m not sure if it is just this team or every sport but they have a strange policy that you take care of your own team mates, the coach will never get involved. One girl knocked her head on the floor and went unconscious, the coach shooed her off the court so one girl lifted her onto the back of another and it was up to the team mates to wake her up and then bring her home after training. Odd situation but it means the team has a very close connection I suppose. I look forward to some more ridiculously long and intense trainings with them, they all thought I had a ‘sun tan’ after, when in fact I was as red as a baboon’s behind.

I’ve no pics of my red face but here is red hair from birthday kareoke



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