GISST CROSS-COUNTRY – hosted by LIS Thursday – 7th October 2021
We were delighted to be able to host the first GISST event since the Corona pandemic swept into our lives, and I am delighted to report that the inaugural LIS event was a huge success!
The students were excited and thrilled to finally be able to compete together after such a long time, and to show off their new team uniforms! It was a smaller tournament than a normal GISST competition, but a total of five schools participated. Leipzig International School welcomed teams from Berlin British School (BBS), Berlin International School (BerIS), Berlin Brandenburg International School (BBIS), and International School Stuttgart (ISS).
The competition was open to U14 and Varsity teams (U18), with a GISST team consisting of four runners. However, schools were allowed to enter a maximum of eight students (24 students in total per school) per race. In the end, though, only the placings of the first four team members count towards the final team score. The course was well-marked and signposted with students from the Secondary School acting as marshals to guide the runners. There was a lead bike and a sweep bike to make sure that everyone was looked after and didn’t get lost. It was set up so that the start and finish were in the same area, very close to our school. The course was scenic taking in the Clara-Zetkin Park and running along the Elster river, showing off this beautiful part of Leipzig to our visitors.
The atmosphere was electric! This was helped by the wonderful LIS music groups, led by Mr. Foulkes and Ms. Flanagan as well as our wonderful LIS lion mascot who provided great entertainment throughout the event. Apparently, some of the students from the other schools are now demanding their own mascots! Teachers brought out their classes to watch and support the event. Even the weather was on our side as the tournament was held in glorious sunshine.
Running is a wonderful sport and can teach us so much. In order to be successful, you need to be disciplined, committed and patient. It’s a tough sport as there is no hiding and on Thursday the students shared a little piece of themselves with us. They were courageous enough to stand on the start line; they were brave enough to show us their tears, their frustrations and their joy. They fought for every place and left it all out there. Most importantly they supported each other wholeheartedly and consoled and celebrated one another. As a coach I cannot ask for any more. I am so proud of each and every member of the team – those who ran and those who helped out.
Roar, Lions, Roar!