To promote physical wellness and foster cross-cultural connections on campus, the Students’ Union, with the support from the Student Affairs Office (SAO), piloted a student integration and wellness campaign, SPORTify programme. The programme offers free walk-in sessions at the sports facilities on weekdays. Students from different backgrounds are welcome to join and play sports with their peers.
The programme was successfully launched this summer. Eight free sports sessions were scheduled in August 2021 engaging both local and non-local students. The free sessions covered four types of popular sports including Badminton, Basketball, Table Tennis and Tennis.
Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, students’ university life has changed drastically. Many regular face-to-face activities inevitably went online or were even cancelled under the anti-pandemic measures. The new norm undoubtedly limits social interactions among peers. The Students’ Union with the great support from SAO drives this campaign to reactivate students’ social life in a wellness context. Amid challenges, this pilot activity was well received by more than 30 students across different disciplines, including undergraduates and postgraduates from various countries/regions. ‘SPORTify players not only get the chance to exercise and stay healthy but also meet new friends to develop multi-cultural connections,’ commented one of the fans of the Students’ Union Sports Affairs Group.
A casual basketball group was formed behind the scenes. 10 sports lovers have been connected after the foremost SPORTify basketball session held on 6 August. Johnny, one of the members in the group, shared that ‘There were only 10 of us in the group in the beginning. More students joined the group after getting word-of-mouth recommendations from active basketball players. We are from different years of study, disciplines and backgrounds. It is so cool to make new friends across the campus. SPORTify offers a really nice opportunity for students to create bonding! We are now a group of over 40 basketball freaks. Can’t wait to play the 4th game together and definitely more to come!’
Photo caption: Our special guest, Prof. Ben Young, Vice President (Student and International Affairs), caught table tennis players by surprise.