Every sports team faces times of rebirth, seasons in which veterans depart and new stars emerge. In some cases these transitions include a struggle to retain success, while in others the shift smoothly allows the passing the torch from one generation to the next. In a year in which many of the Falcon teams welcomed many new players, NIST managed to successfully pass that torch.
The 2015–2016 year represented a compelling period of growth for both competitive and recreational sports here at NIST, reflected in our Bangkok International School Athletics Conference (BISAC) and South East Asian Athletics Conference (SEASAC) results. Though the many trophies and awards are significant, the exemplary conduct and positive attitude displayed by our student athletes both in and out of uniform truly embodies the Falcon spirit. In many cases these successes were even more impressive due to the youthful teams, often comprising first-time athletes.
Over 780 student athletes proudly flew the NIST Falcons flag both locally and abroad, amassing 20 team and individual championships, and many more second and third place trophies. In a fiercely competitive sports year, our athletes showed the strength, determination and will to never give up and compete until the end, all the while being role models and respecting opponents, representatives of other schools and officials.
On the recreational sports side, the Falcons Sports Development Programme (FSDP) also saw continued growth and increased participation. This programme provided a great opportunity for students to get involved in sports. Through this non-competitive introduction, the FSDP has helped build the future foundation for sporting success, while also instilling a recognition of the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship. The programme also fosters a great community at NIST during school holidays, providing students with a chance to grow and develop their skills.
Congratulations for a successful season to everyone within our school community, including those who participated, coached, supported, organized or contributed in any way to our Falcon Athletics and Development Programmes. It is the collaboration and teamwork of the entire school community that enables NIST to provide the best sporting opportunities and development to our students, and we look forward to seeing the growth of the programmes over the coming year.
If the emerging theme of the year was transitions, a special thanks must also be offered to our departing Athletics & Activities Director, Paul Hodgkinson. A permanent fixture at NIST, Paul has been the face of Falcon sports for over two decades. More than any other individual, his dedication to the NIST athletics programmes and his role in establishment of BISAC and SEASAC has shaped the course of international school sports not only at NIST, but across Bangkok and Southeast Asia. More importantly, his connection to so many students over the years has strongly impacted their lives, driving them to succeed as athletes and as individuals.
Best of luck, Paul, and go Falcons!