Hosting an Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools sports event at one’s own school is a very unique experience for those involved: the players, coaches, and the fans on the sideline. From Feb. 1-3, TAS will get to witness just that, as the school will host the IASAS rugby and touch rugby tournaments. International School Manila, International School at Bangkok, International School of Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta International School, and Singapore American School will all be competing in the tournament.
Meticulous planning is crucial for a smooth IASAS event for Director of Health, PE, and Sports, Mr. Ryan Mueller and the entire athletics department; specifically Sports and Activities Information Photojournalist Mr. Mike Corsini and Athletic Director Ms. Kim Kawamoto. “They have put in a lot of time, energy, and effort into preparing our facilities, community, and students for the tournament,” says Mr. Mueller. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to run the quality program that TAS is known for.”
In preparation for the event, the athletics department has and will continue to make many changes to the Lower Field. Along with the new touch rugby lines, flagpoles, and Tiger logo on the field; new mural banners featuring TAS athletes on the walls, and a new scoreboard with digital component have already been installed. As usual, team and individual player photos and banners will hang around campus.
The players on the field have worked just as hard as those behind the scenes. When asked about what the touch rugby team did in preparation for the other IASAS schools, two-year IASAS player Kelly Hsu (‘18) immediately responded, “Terrible Tuesdays!”, which are weekly touch-specific workout days involving strength and cardio training. Similarly, the boys rugby team had to endure tough practices, including a drill they call “Workhorse,” where the players repeatedly tackle and hit rugby pads.
Home IASAS definitely benefits the TAS rugby and touch rugby players this year. “We’re already used to the cold and rainy weather here. All of the other IASAS schools are very hot,” says two-year IASAS rugby player Albert Lin (‘20). Varsity touch rugby assistant coach, Mr. Anthony Joe agrees, saying, “It gives us an even playing field.”
Ultimately, most, if not all, of the rugby community agrees that the most exciting part about IASAS this year is the home crowd, and the exposure that the two sports will receive. “You will have a great time and you will learn about a new sport,” says Kelly. “Come watch us!”