On Saturday, Oct. 18, the CRC indoor soccer court played host to the fifth annual indoor soccer tournament organized by the Georgia Tech International Ambassadors (GTIA). Games were played from 9 a.m. onwards with the final kickoff around 4 p.m. The seven teams that competed in the tournament included players from all around the world with each team vying for the championship.
The event was truly a multicultural affair. The tournament saw players competing from a host of countries, namely China, India, Germany, Thailand and Brazil, to name just a few. Campus and cultural organizations were well represented at the tournament while some teams simply came together as friends.
The final saw the two most successful teams of the day compete for the winners’ medals. The score was 7-1, but this was not a reflection of the skill level of the losing team. The captain of the runners-up, Isaac Joy, said his team “play[s] together every week,” which shows the overall high quality of soccer that was on display in the final.
The event was organized by GTIA, an organization that is made up of a mix of international and American students. GTIA works to welcome new members of the international community into life at Tech while also ensuring an integrated community for all international students during their time here.
As a result, the annual indoor soccer tournament has proven to be an excellent way to bring
students of all nationalities together, all with a common love
for the “beautiful game,” as it is often called.
For the first time in its history, the tournament was free for all teams to enter. Alice Robang is the VP of finance for GTIA, and she was a main contributor in organizing the event.
“Despite cultural differences, there still exists that shared passion for the sport of soccer and the sportsmanship and teamwork that goes with it,” said Robang, when discussing the impact that the tournament has on the international community at Tech.
The regular excitement and enthusiasm for the tournament is evidence of the increasing interest in the sport here at Tech. One would be hard-pressed to stroll across campus without seeing the red of Manchester United, the all-white of Real Madrid or the crest of another one of the biggest clubs in the world.
It would be easy to attribute this enthusiasm solely to the thriving international community at Tech, but more and more Atlanta natives are coming to love the game, as evidenced by the recent popularity of the Major League Soccer club, Atlanta United.