Freshman Faces of IASAS S2

Written by: Sofia 

Edited by: Erich

Visuals by: Zoe

Photographs by: Jiyu

A record-breaking number of 21 freshmen got into the S2 sports, a surprise especially since it is the first year fully back on campus. A day before their departure to their respective IASAS sister schools, we interviewed the freshmen athletes for a more in-depth look at the delegates. Congratulations to the following freshmen athletes!

  • IASAS Basketball: Abraham, Brianna, Emerson, Liesl, Mina
  • IASAS Touch/Rugby: Bridger, Henry, Margaux, Victor
  • IASAS Swimming: Audrey, Camie, Chloe, Emil, Kenzo, Natusko, Szava, Tia
  • IASAS Tennis: Caitlin, Harald, Joss, Yanyou

When asked about what it was like to get into IASAS during their first year of high school, many expressed feelings of both excitement and nervousness. They explained that it was like “a dream” to be able to qualify for the IASAS squad, but, at the same time, there’s the underlying pressure of going against upperclassmen. 

The IASAS experience is not new to some of these student-athletes who have already made it to IASAS during S1 like Margaux, a member of the Touch/Rugby team, and Mina, a Basketball player. They explained that their participation during season two was like reliving the experience all over again. 

For some, participation in IASAS is a family affair since students like Abraham and Szava share their sport with an older sibling. Abraham explained, “It was incredible to be able to make IASAS as a freshman and especially be on the same team as my brother.” Taking it from a different lens, Szava revealed how seeing her brother, Gellert, qualify as an IASAS delegate served as inspiration for her to join the team as well.

There’s an inherent assumption that being a freshman makes it harder to make it into varsity teams, let alone the IASAS team. When asked about the merits of this speculation, there were divided opinions. “I felt that I had a disadvantage because being younger made me an underdog,” Tia clarified. She added how it can be intimidating to play against people who are older and have more experience than her. Meanwhile, Szava gave a different perspective to what it’s like being the youngest on their team. She said that it’s somewhat difficult, but it also boosts her confidence knowing that she’s of the same skill set as upperclassmen. 

On the other hand, Margaux explained that they believe seniority has nothing to do with it at all, and it really depends on capabilities to be on even ground with upperclassmen on the team. Elaborating on this, Mina added that “in the beginning, I didn’t know anybody’s skills so I worried about not getting in. All you have to do is try your best, show your skills, and get in the team.” These first-hand experiences by the freshmen athletes goes to show that age doesn’t matter; it’s your skill level that counts.

Training constitutes a large portion of an athlete’s responsibilities. We queried the ISM athletes on their personal experiences with training. They were asked what their training is like and if they have ever felt demotivated to go to training sometimes. 

Kenzo, a member of the Swim team, replied, “It’s definitely always fun since the right people are there…[but] I’m sure everyone feels a little demotivated to go to training sometimes.” From Tia’s perspective, she expressed how she often leaves swim training with a smile on her face. However, there are indeed occasions when she leaves the pool and stumbles to the changing rooms because of how tired she is: “Every time I enter the gate to the swimming area, I do not want to swim anymore. You gotta push through it,” she advised. There was an overall consensus amongst the freshmen athletes that as fun as training can be, it can also be challenging to push oneself to attend from time to time.

A pressing question for each athlete is how they each chose to play their particular sport. For many of them, they’ve been playing their sport for quite some time. With Natsuko, Joss, and Harald, they believed they could bring something new to the ISM team, as they’ve accumulated skills over the years they have been playing their sport. In Abraham’s case, it was a matter of shared familial interest. He explained how his four older brothers held a similar love for basketball, and growing up in such an environment really encouraged him to play for the school team. Others explained that they stayed for the friends they’ve made within the sport. Expanding on this, Tia comments that she chose to continue swimming, as she finds that “it builds and fosters really strong connections between people because we’re kind of bonded through pain.” Meanwhile, for the case of one freshman athlete, she explained that her choice of sport is partly due to her childhood aspiration of becoming a mermaid. “As a little girl, I watched ‘H2O: Just Add Water’, and it was all about mermaids and swimming” Szava remarked, which her motivated to pursue the sport.

Given that it was the last day before the competition would be off to a start, we were curious to know how they felt before departing the following day. Many felt excited, motivated by their personal ambitions to place as high as possible. Emil exclaimed, “I feel very excited to go into my first IASAS of the year. I think we just have to do our best and try to place as high as possible.” On the other hand, Margaux expressed feelings of nervousness about winning the competition. She voiced out that there is indeed some pressure to get the IASAS plaque back since ISM Touch girls are defending champions, expressing her goal of achieving first once again. While these freshmen may feel pressure to do as best as they can, it is no doubt that they will have fun and be grateful for whatever place they get.

Now that IASAS S2 has passed, we congratulate these athletes for all their hard work. These freshmen athletes are proof of how hard work goes a long way. Matters of age, batch, or other criteria most people think IASAS acceptance is based on are only assumptions and are not based on facts. What matters most is one’s skill and eagerness to become an IASAS delegate. Let these freshmen faces serve as an inspiration to anyone who aspires to join IASAS.