On May 29 teachers from international schools across Beijing gathered at Harrow International School Beijing for the intriguingly named “Lake Balls Exhibition.”
This was a friendly football tournament, designed to bring together the teaching community for a day of good-spirited sporting rivalry. The schools taking part were Beanstalk International Bilingual School (BIBS), British Schools Beijing (BSB), Beijing BISS International School, Canadian International School Beijing (CISB), German Embassy School Beijing, Dulwich College Beijing (DCB), Harrow International School Beijing, Keystone Academy, Western Academy Beijing (WAB), and Yew Chung International School Beijing (YCIS). Tsinghua International School were also scheduled to take part but unfortunately had to pull out at the last minute.
The final was contested between Harrow and Keystone Academy. Both teams had as their driving force a nine-goal striker, Leon Clarke for Harrow and Bobby for Keystone Academy, who shared the laurels as the tournament’s best players. (At the time of writing we have been unable to ascertain “Bobby”‘s full name, and can only presume that like the Brazilian greats Pele and Socrates, one name is all he needs…) After a hard fought match Harrow eventually triumphed, thanks to a goal from event organizer David Nicholson.
Despite bringing raucous support (and picnics), YCIS Beijing finished bottom of the league, after being hit by injuries to key players in early games. James Honey of YCIS Beijing admitted to being “sick as a parrot”, and Jim Sweeney said “It’s back to the drawing board for us,” both men demonstrating an impressive grasp of the soccer cliché.
Harrow Beijing hopes to make this an annual event, but the day was such a success that other schools have proposed holding it termly, with a different school hosting each time. Either way it looks set to become a fixture in Beijing’s sporting calendar.
And that unusual name? David Nicholson explains that during Harrow’s after-school Friday evening games, his wayward shooting often results in footballs flying over the school fence and into a nearby lake. At the event itself, he managed to keep his shots low, but we can report that DCB kept the proud tradition of “Lake Balls” alive…
Photos: Courtesy of Harrow School Beijing