ISP Teams Take on CEESA: Volleyball & Football Tournaments

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By GABRIELLA, Grade 11

One highlight from our fall athletics season was the annual CEESA Tournament where the ISP US Boys’ Volleyball and MS Boys’ Gold Football team played alongside International Schools from Bucharest, Warsaw, Vilnius, and Krakow. 

ISP has been a part of CEESA (Central & Eastern European Schools Association) for a number of years. CEESA strives for innovation where “each learner’s experience is better tomorrow,” with the goal of connecting schools and building community across Europe.

The volleyball tournament was made up of 3 teams, across 2 days, using 1 court in the ISP gym. It was round-robin style, which means that each participant plays all the other participants, in turn, and it was best of 5 or a tie-breaker to 15. On Friday, ISP was extremely successful, winning all games- 3 to 2 against Bucharest, and 3- 0 against Warsaw. On Saturday, our athletes brought their best game and were able to win against Warsaw 3-1, but unfortunately lost 0-3 against Bucharest.

“Playing at home with the fans cheering you on is an experience I never had before.”

Sebastian, US Boys Volleyball Captain, Grade 12

The MS Boys’ Football tournament was just as impressive, involving 6 teams across 2 pitches. It was a round-robin as well, meaning there were 15 matches in total and 3 final matches. Each match was 2 x 15 mins and included a 5-minute halftime. ISP had two teams at this tournament, Black and Gold.

“Becoming a captain for your team in a tournament is a big reward for anyone who earns it, but it takes a lot of responsibility to make sure that you are there for the team when they need it the most. As a captain, you are the one that is supposed to push the team and motivate the ones that don’t believe, show them that they can do it!”

Martin, MS Boys Captain, Grade 8

First up on Friday, our Black team won 3-1 against Warsaw B, then 2-1 against Vilnus, and lost 1-3 against Krakow. Our Gold team was just as hardworking and talented on the field, winning 6-0 against Krakow, then 5-0 against Vilnus, and finally 5-0 against Warsaw A.

On Saturday, the boys were excited to be on the pitch again, and brought the energy ISP is so proud to boast. Our Black team, unfortunately, lost both their games, 6-0 to ISP Gold and then 7-0 to Warsaw A. However, our Gold team was able to pull ahead, winning 6-0 against ISP Black and again 6-0 against Warsaw B. The finals allowed for ISP gold to win 1st place, 3-0 against Warsaw, and ISP black to win 4th, 1-0 against Warsaw B.

However, what was more satisfying than our greatly deserved success, was the camaraderie and welcoming attitude ISP demonstrated toward the other teams.

More than anything, CEESA is an opportunity to connect with other like-minded students, and that was fully recognized last weekend. So many new friendships were formed, and everyone was glad to have been able to participate. 

All the games had an incredible turnout from the ISP student body, and it was so inspiring to see all the excitement and support for our players.

It was a special treat to see the Elementary School Spirit Squad cheering along, creating a great atmosphere. 

The strong sense of community was inspiring, and very reflective of our ISP pride. And with all their hard work, the ISP US Boys’ Volleyball Team was able to achieve second place, and the MS Boys’ Football Team got first! GO FALCONS!!