Hot Winter 2013: Sports Day

February 16 (Saturday). 9:45 AM. Kansai Gaidai main athletic field, right next to the Club Building.

More than 100 students gathered around the athletic fields and were divided into five teams.

Their mission: to warm the really cold winter that is now striking the Kansai Region.

It all began after the Rajio Taiso, the Japanese traditional morning aerobics that amused some of those international students who had never heard about them. Then, the main events of the “Hot Winter 2013” started with the first game, the well-known Ni-Nin Sankyaku, the “three-legged-race,” in which the participants had to show their cooperation skills while running from side to side of the field with one of their legs tied to their partner’s. “It might sound funny, but being tied to each other helped creating the first bonds with some Japanese friends” stated an international student after the game.

The second sports event was also a famous one, Shippo Tori, also known as “The Taking Tails” game, in which all the contestants had to steal other people’s “tails” in order to get points for their team. It was from this game onwards that the strongest teams emerged and the rivalries arose.

The next game, Dodge Ball, unveiled some of the best dodging moves seen in this game in a long time, while some participants showed a Spartan will even in the face of certain defeat. One player of the blue team praised a pink team player, even after the Blues defeated the Pinks, saying that he had never seen a girl move so fast and able to dodge so many balls for so many minutes.

It seemed, somehow, that the snow also wanted to take part in the Hot Winter 2013 and play with the students in the fields. This made the first part of the day finish sooner than expected and the event moved from the main stadium to the student lounge of the Center for International Education.

The second half began with the Relay Race, Shogaibutsu Relay, in which the students had to overcome different challenges (push-ups, run around a baseball bat 10 times as fast as possible…) and it was immediately followed by Daruma San ga Koronda, a typical Japanese game in which the students had to pose according to a previously shouted out theme. “Is there any possible way of posing as Steve Jobs in this game?” asked a player while laughing when he was eliminated after posing as Michael Jackson.

The last two games were probably the tightest of them all. The Arm Wrestling final match in the boys section made all the participants as well as the audience cheer and shout for their favorite contestant. In the final “Guinness Challenge”, in which the teams had to fit the most people in a tiny square meter, lots of creativity and innovation were shown.

Then the final scores of each team and the Best Players of the Games were announced and the participants thanked all members of the Medikara Project who coordinated this wonderful sports day. “In the end, we all were the Most Valuable Players of the Event, with no exception” as the MVP stated.

Even the snowy and cloudy skies above Hirakata were unable to stop the Kansai Gaidai international and local students from having fun and meeting new friends while making this winter a little bit warmer.