Perseverance and tenacity are often the foundational traits of success. When these are combined with dedication and teamwork, the result is outstanding. This can be seen in the much awaited 57th NNU Annual Sports Meet that was held on Oct. 25th and 26th, 2019 on the Xianlin Campus, showing great zeal, excitement and a frolicsome atmosphere. Hours before it started, the stadium was surrounded by thousands of spectators, with volunteers busy scrutinizing the facilities and athletes excitedly warming up in order to perform better in the coming competition.
The Sports Meet was hosted by Vice President Youlian Sun and started with Secretary of the NNU Committee of the CPC, Minqiang Hu declaring the meet open. 27 square formations marched forward in front of the rostrum. They were drawn from teachers, referees and students from all the different schools in NNU, showing their own distinguishing characteristics and positive spirits. Students from the School of Chinese Language and Literature dressed up in a traditional Chinese style, while students from the School of Geography all held balloons that looked like mini-earths.
After the procession, a speech was delivered by NNU President Guoxiang Chen. He said that in recent years NNU has devoted more resources toward physical education, including building and renovating basic sport infrastructure and holding more competitions. He also explained why doing sports is of unique importance to university students and how the spirit of sports will benefit them by urging them to fight courageously and never give up. At the end of his speech, he wished the sports meet to be a complete success.
Xiangyu Gong, the athlete representative and a member of the Chinese national women's volleyball team, shared her own experience as a volleyball lover and how she worked hard to win the gold medal in women’s volleyball at the 2016 Rio Olympics and also the championship of the 2019 World Cup as part of the Chinese team. She called on every athlete to compete with great vigor and full passion. The referee representative, Zhan Chen, a teacher from the School of Sports Science and Physical Education, made a solemn vow that the referees would be serious, fair and impartial.
Before the sports competition started, thousands of students and teachers put on several wonderful performances as part of the opening ceremony. With several pieces of stirring background music and energetic calisthenics, the air was filled with tons of cheering and encouragement for the young athletes.
The international students were full of enthusiasm for this big event as well. After the fascinating opening ceremony, Abdiel Franceschi, who was preparing to compete in the men's 400 meters race, said he liked the show very much, especially the dancing. He indicated that taking part in sports games was a great opportunity for him to build relationships with other students. “Sports gets people out of buildings stuffed with books, making us feel like we’re on a real planet,” agreed his companion, Froncine Alice. In addition, some of the international students enjoyed the NNU sports meet as athletes instead of spectators for the first time. For example, Ali (Czech Republic) and Nishad (Bangladesh) participated in men's shot-put and 16×100 relay respectively.
Along with the earsplitting cheering, the eye-catching 16×80 relay came to an end with the School of Foreign Languages and Cultures winning first place. One of the participants, Zeming Chi, expressed his enthusiasm and said, “We did a really good job. I get quite excited every time I take part in such games. I’m so delighted to make playing sports an inseparable part of my life.”
During the tight race of the women’s 1500 meters, Tingting Wang, a freshman from the School of Sports Science and Physical Education, ran ahead of her competition, ending up with a time of 5m27s and the championship of this fierce competition. “I’ve received so much professional training in long-distance racing since the fourth grade. Perhaps I should have reserved some energy for the coming 4×100 relay and the women’s 3000 meters.”
It’s notable that the meticulous logistical service, offered by volunteers from every school in NNU, was very heart-warming. Liyi Sun, one of the volunteers, said he came to the sports field at seven in the morning, an hour ahead of the opening ceremony, in order to assure all the preparatory work would be completed. “We are responsible for the provision of food and water. It’s our duty as well as honor to be a source of support for all the athletes while they are competing in their arenas.”