Taiwan Sports Day ReportAbout Us

SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies and 2016 Sports Day

Jewel Lo

Every summer the Overseas Taiwanese Sports Day is held at Regents Park Running Track. It is an important social occasion for both the overseas Taiwanese and student communities. For the last decade, the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies has organised a team to join the Sports Day.

The Director of the Centre of Taiwan Studies, Dr Dafydd Fell, is passionate about promoting Taiwan studies and he loves participating in sport. He sees the annual Overseas Taiwanese Sports Day in London as the Centre's team building event and a chance to celebrate the end of the academic year. This year the Sports Day took place right after the Centre's successful 4-day Summer School Programme. Consequently we managed to recruit some of our speakers and attendees to join in the fun. We had over twenty team members, including current students, alumni, academic staff, as well as family members.

We had much fun participating in and watching the various events: the men's 100-metre and 200-metre races, the men's 4 x 100-metre relays, the women's 4 x 100-metre relays, the men's 3000-metre race, the women's 1500-metre race, and the exciting tug-of-war competitions. The SOAS team did not win as many prizes as in previous years. However, we did manage to secure 2nd place for both the men's and women's 4 x 100 meter relay races. Our second place women's relay team included myself, Cheng Hsi (Taiwan Politics student), and Research Associates Ming-Yeh Rawnsley and Isabelle Cheng. The second placed men's relay team was: Chris Cockel (SOAS alumnus), Dafydd, Tong Zhenan (Taiwan Politics student 2013-14) and Chiu Jen-ping (Taiwan Studies student 2002-2003 and Research Associate).

Most important is that the sports day allows the Taiwan community of scholars and students to mingle outside the classroom, to have fun together, and to show off their (in some cases, lack of) sporting skills.

The competition was fierce and it was a very hot day, so some of the participants did suffer in the heat. So we appreciate the effort and commitment of all involved, including film director Chun Chuan who gallantly took part in the tug-of-war despite not feeling too well. Overall, team-spirit and morale were high, and we celebrated our achievements with sparkling wine.

Will we attend next year? You bet!

Jewel Lo is a Project Officer at the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies.