Six schools. Eighteen different events. Days of highly anticipated tryouts, weeks of intense practices, hours of rehearsals, all leading up to three days of IASAS. There is no way to compare IASAS to any other event that takes place in the lives of international school students. They begin in a high pressure environment, based on the idea of competition, but come out with the best memories and the closest friends.
Many people have said that when they look back on their IASAS days, it’s not the games they remember; it’s everything in between. Often, it is assumed that IASAS is all about one thing: winning. Students go through endless training just to prepare for being on a varsity team, but once they get on, the hard work is far from being over. Hours of dedication combined with sweat and late night rehearsals help build teams, all with the final goal of IASAS. But it’s not about the medal teams get to take home at the end of the grueling three days, it’s the memories brought home with it.
Izzy Tan will be the first to tell you this. Izzy has been to six IASAS tournaments in her time at SAS, and is currently studying at the University of California, Berkeley. Although she has brought back medals from five out of her six tournaments, she believes that IASAS is about so much more than that. “Nothing can compare to the experiences IASAS has given me. It helped make me who I am as I person and I am incredibly grateful for all of it.”
Izzy isn’t the only one who has been positively impacted by the spirit of IASAS. Kio Underwood, a current junior at SAS, also believes that IASAS has brought some of the best memories he could have experienced. “My most memorable moment was this year, when we shockingly went into the playoffs as 5th seed and the pressure was on us. The result that we didn’t expect got us fired up and work our way beating ISKL in the quarterfinals and ISM, the number 1 seed, in the semi finals.”
Something else that IASAS is known for is forming bonds between students from other schools. Students form close friendships with the people they meet during the tournament and continue to maintain these relationships throughout their high school lives.
Hayden Mountcastle, alum of Singapore American School, and Bethany Christian, alum of Taipei American School, are prime examples of these relationships. The two met last year during basketball IASAS, and Hayden even went so far as to bring her green tea KitKats all the way from Singapore. When asked about what she thinks of IASAS friendships, Bethany said “Meeting people who don’t go to your school is both exciting and terrifying… making/having IASAS friends to me is one of the most precious things in high school.”
Zachary Gedal is a sophomore at SAS who just came back from his first IASAS in Manila. Even though he has only been to one IASAS so far in his high school career, he still believes it is an event like no other. “..it’s truly an experience like nothing else and something that is irreplaceable. The memories I’ve gained have triggered emotions that only IASAS can do, and will stick with me for a lifetime.”
Although everyone obviously has varying experiences from visiting different schools, doing different activities and attending with different teams, all IASAS veterans agree that they end the three days with some of the best memories they could experience. The memories IASAS brings will hopefully be something that all school students will continue to cherish for years to come.