The term ‘truly international’ has always gone hand in hand with the Regent’s School, and the recent U13 FOBISSEA games hosted at the school only reaffirmed this further. Six international schools from Southeast Asia shared the grounds and the facilities of the Regent’s to take part in the most awaited school sporting competition of the year. It was certainly easy to tell; the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement from the students to the staff and the attending parents.
International schools from Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam met for a weekend of well planned, competitive events topped off by a Gala dinner at Cholchan Pattaya Resort. The Regent’s was joined by the British International School of Phuket (BISP) and the International School of Bangkok (ISB). From Vietnam, the British International School of Vietnam (BISV), Jerudong International School (JIS) from Brunei and the International School of Penang (Uplands) from Malaysia were all in good spirits despite being away from home.
Swimming ended with a tire race to fight for first place.
“It’s great to see students who have progressed – some students have been here since year 4 so this is now their fourth or fifth FOBISSEA games and have FOBISSEA friends,” said Paul McConnell, the event manager of the games who explained the pleasant relationship the competing schools have with one another. “Once the sport’s done they all mix very well and they all are good friends,” he added.
The three-day event began with an intense, yet friendly swimming competition. Despite the sun’s attempts to force all to seek either shade or air conditioning, everyone kept at it with vigour and the competitive mood never waned throughout. There could only be one winner, although all teams pushed themselves until the end, and BISV accepted their victory with grace.
The international students line up for a group photo.
The athletics event, on the other hand, was a different story as the weather took a turn for the worse later in the afternoon. It was an unfortunate affair as the high jump, long jump, javelin and discus all couldn’t take place as a thunderstorm crept in to join the excitement. However, the buzz returned very quickly as it cleared so the relay could go on and BISV walked away as the overall victors.
“One of the best moments was when the thunderstorm finished at the stadium so we could actually do some athletics,” said a relieved Paul McConnell. “We could actually get the kids winning medals – that’s been my highlight so far.”
The heat didn’t stop the students giving it their all.
The football and basketball games had an air of great team spirit and the support was endless. BISV won both the girls’ football and boys’ basketball and JIS claimed first place in boys’ football. But it was the final of the girls’ basketball that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats as the home team scored ‘the golden basket’. A thrilling moment, The Regent’s claimed a victory of their own on their own grounds.
After lengthy planning and preparation it seemed to pay off as The Regent’s hosting skills were met with great reception. The head of PE at The Regent’s, Ainsley Harris explained, “The preparation has been phenomenal and that’s enabled all of us to have such smooth games and just enjoy it.”
Phil Drake, the director of sport at BISV saw the perks of the on-site facilities. “The good thing about the Regent’s school is that they’ve got facilities on campus so it reduces the amount of travelling we’re having to do. In Vietnam there’s a lot more travelling to be done because we have to use stadiums and outside facilities as well. The organisation has been first class; plenty of water, plenty of food, that’s the main thing for the students and safety is the key to it as well so it’s been great.”
What three words best describe the events overall? “Exciting, Competitive and Friendly”, Mike Walton, the chairman of FOBISSEA and the principle of The Regent’s School Pattaya, summed up the recent FOBISSEA games with ease.
BISV share team celebrations.