Last week, the entire ISAK 10th grade class learned a new sport – curling!
Actually, there is nothing new about the sport of curling – it is one of the oldest team sports in the world still in play, dating back to 16th century Scotland. But for ISAK students, many of whom hail from warm, tropical parts of the world, this was indeed a new experience.
Karuizawa is one of the top destinations in the world for curling, thanks to the introduction of curling as an official Olympic event at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games. Today, the Karuizawa Ice Park is a state-of-the-art facility used by Olympic contenders and amateurs alike. When the ISAK students arrived, many were unsure about curling. Conversation erupted. Would it be difficult? Worse yet, would it be boring? After being fitted with special shoes, hats and gloves, students were teamed up into four groups and led to the ice by rink instructors. And, that’s were ISAK students began to reveal their true character…
As the instructors began to explain the sport, ISAK students paid attention, listened quietly, and showed respect. Without prompting, Japanese students began to translate instructions into English for their classmates. The students were excited about the possibility of learning something new. They began to step out onto the ice, trepidatiously at first, then with more and more confidence. Soon everyone was sliding back and forth, smiling, laughing, and excited to learn more.
As the lesson progressed from walking on the ice to actually throwing stones and sweeping, the enthusiasm and competitive spirit increased. Students concentrated on every play and cheered for their teammates. A few times, students took a hard fall on the ice, only to be quickly surrounded by friends asking, “Are you okay?” and “Can I help you up?”
Good sportsmanship, teamwork, respect for the instructors, enthusiasm, and excitement for learning something new – these are the qualities ISAK students showed at the Karuizawa Ice Park. Well done, students!
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