o help enhance understanding and appreciation of life on Soochow campus and among our students, Soochow University, together with the Chinese Taipei Sports Federation, co-sponsored the “2014 Soochow International Wheelchair Basketball Invitational” on Soochow gym. Five wheelchair basketball teams from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, and Chinese Taipei took part in the three-day lively, exciting and meaningful event.
SCU President Pan Wei-Ta extended our cordial welcome to all the participants at the pre-game news conference who could be role models and teachers for all Soochow students. Because as President Pan put it, the whole point of the game is to allow our students to come into contact, to play a role, and to closely observe how wheelchair basketball players transcend their physical barriers and transform their minds into full-blossomed lives. This is especially meaningful as Soochow is a university where special emphasis are on moral, ethical values, and interpersonal and community teachings are strongly emphasized.
During the games, our students were all amazed with how well the players maneuvered their wheelchairs and the ball on the basketball court. You see ten wheelchairs shuttling around, blocking the on-coming attack, or breaking defense of your opponents, while still managed to find time, space, and chance to pass or shoot to score. Amongst the cheers and sighs, China and Korea proved to be the best in both defense and offense strategies and took the championship and first-runner-up. In the third to fifth places are Thailand, Chinese Taipei, and Hong Kong.
The Chinese Taipei team consists of 15 young rising stars; including Lu Junyi, Liu Shuyu, Chang Haoyuan. Organizing committee member Lee Yunguang who had been a player on the national team, noted that the game as the first such event held on university campus serves an educational purpose for college students and therefore carries significance far beyond merely a sports event.
In addition to the competitions on the basketball court, Soochow University has also organized a series of other events alongside of the game; “Rolling and flipping”, a relay race with nearly 100 students experiencing what it was like to be in wheelchairs or with crutches slouching through huddles to reach their destinations. There were also composition and photograph competitions so that every moving moment on the court could be captured and shared through writing and camera lens.
Soochow girls’ basketball team captain Yang Yingxi said she and everyone watching the games were all deeply touched when the players sometimes bumped into each other and were knocked over, they rather than staying on the floor, always tried their best to pull up themselves and their wheelchairs. “I believe their stories must have brought different perspectives for all of us. We were taught a great lesson of learning to cherish ourselves for having what must be nearing perfection in our lives, and at the same time learning to share what we can to all those in need,” said Yang.
More than 100 student volunteers took part in the event in their various roles; escorts, transportation coordination, etc. They could literally experience what it was like to be handicapped, an experience of understanding and caring SCU’s PE Director Prof. Liu Yiquan marked as the most important achievement in holding the game. During the closing ceremony SCU President Pan Wei-Ta expressed our deepest appreciation toward all the players for their persistence on the court, and the team work and support they showed in the games. They are, President Pan said, the best role models for all SCU students to emulate to.
|A big get-together for group photo (left to right Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong, and China)
||Chinese Taipei vs Korea, lift off from wheelchairs|
|Just how exciting can it be
||SCU President Pan presenting award to Captain Lu Junyi of Chinese Taipei|