Edinburgh Global

Sports Union World Cup Celebrates Student Diversity

The Sports Union Multi Sport World Cup was one of eight projects awarded funding by the Edinburgh Global Innovation Fund. We took a look at the event and how it has enhanced the international student experience.

The project

After receiving funding from the Edinburgh Global Innovation Fund, the Sports Union held the first University of Edinburgh Sports World Cup. Held over one day, the inaugural event saw more than 300 students compete in four sports; badminton, football, netball and squash.

Malaysian netball team
Malaysian Netball Team

Students were encouraged to join with others from same nation or region of the world and in total represented 57 nations and six continents. The aim of the event was to celebrate diversity, enhance the international student experience as well as getting more students interested in participating in sporting activities.

It was also hoped that it would encourage more international students to become involved with the sport union as the number involved was relatively low.

The project was one of eight that receive funding from the Edinburgh Global Innovation Fund.

Stuart Easter, Senior Partnerships Officer from Edinburgh Global said: "The panel were delighted to fund this project given the clear connection to the Edinburgh Global Plan’s theme around Global Community. We’re thrilled that the event was such a success, and many congratulations to Michael and the team for bringing this together.”

This was a fabulous opportunity to bring together a group of students from all over the world and celebrate the diversity that we have in Edinburgh, at the same time as encouraging people to engage in sport, reflecting our commitment to health and wellbeing.

Stuart EasterSenior Partnerships Officer, Edinburgh Global

The funding had a huge impact on the event. Michael Webster, Sports Co-ordinator – Volunteering and Widening Participation said: “Without the finance, the event wouldn’t have happened to the same scale. The additionality that the funding provided was tremendous – allowing us to purchase t-shirts for all participants, a national flag for every team/individual taking part, drive forward a strong marketing campaign through the most appropriate channels, and it also permitted us to host a trophy ceremony in the evening which allowed a huge number of international students the chance to socialise and share stories of their own sporting experience.”

The event

The matches took place on the 28 March at sports facilities across the campus, with the award ceremony being held that evening in Teviot’s Underground Bar.

It gave students the chance to represent their own country and to meet new people while doing so.

The tournament created a friendly sense of competition between those taking part resulting in a tight final between in the badminton with Great Britain managing to win the title against Hong Kong.

The final of the five-a-side football tournament saw Turkey win against Colombia in the open match and in the women’s match Nauru defeated Greece on penalties to win the title.

The squash tournament saw Singapore represented by Junyuan Liang and England represented by Joanna Richardson winning the open and women’s competitions, respectively.

The netball competition saw the United Arab Emirates compete to win the trophy.

Seeing all the flags created a unique international atmosphere. Knowing there were so many international students representing their own countries was great and really showed the diversity of this University.

Martin Serrano, who represented Columbia in the football tournament

The outcomes

The University of Edinburgh’s Sport World Cup was able to bring students together to celebrate the levels of diversity on campus.

Michael said: "In terms of a celebration of diversity, the sheer number of countries involved provided a visual representation of the international diversity that exists within the University."

The feedback from students with regards to this has been exceptional – to represent their country within a University event, was a proud moment for many participants.

Michael WebsterSports Co-ordinator

The students on the Malaysian netball team, who were complete beginners, gave it their all and managed to make it to fourth place.

The Kenyan team who took part in the five aside football matches, have decided to enter an intra mural team for 2018/2019.

The feedback from the team captains after the event was extremely positive and it’s hoped that there will be more success stories once the core sports season starts back in September.

The UoE Sports World Cup will happen again, but with the possibility of being held earlier in the academic year so that students could become more involved in sporting activities.

If you missed the event then you can see some of the highlights on @UoESportsUnion saved Instagram story or on Twitter using #UoEWorldCup.

The Sports Union have also created a video discussing the impact of the Sports World Cup.

Sports Union