Christchurch Easter Tournament 2013

29th March -1st April 2013
By Cameron Young

Easter tournament was truly an eye opening experience for me. As a first year student from Australia and a first time participant at the Easter tournament, it never ceased to amaze me how tight and integrated the Chinese community in New Zealand was.  Through sport and social events such as Basketball, Touch and a wide array of dances, a large number of new friendships were forged and existing connections strengthened. Upon arrival to the first OSCA practice at the start of term, I was very anxious, as I had never played a game of basketball in my life. Through the power of persuasion and encouragement, I found that with each training session, I was finding it easier to integrate into the OSCA community. Ultimately this lead to the crazy idea that I would play basketball at the Christchurch 2013 Easter tournament.

Travelling in two transit vans, one of which had the luxury of air con and the other was slightly more primitive, we departed Dunedin with all our belongings in high spirits. We were eager to see what Christchurch had in stall for us. (Naturally Tash and I were stuck on the mini bus without air con, but none the less our spirits remained intact and un-diminished.) The journey took several hours, and after several failed attempts to sleep and constant munching, we finally arrived at the Airport Gateway Motor Lodge. After an intense game of spin the bottle with my roommates Craig, Colin and Kahu, I came out on top with the luxuries of a large double bed and TV all to myself! What a great way to start my Easter debut.

Waking up fresh in the morning, after a light breakfast of toast, cereal and fruit, we headed off to the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was a terrific experience exhibiting a wide range of local Chinese talent. Whilst entertaining, the ceremony really drove home the message about respect for each other and the community. At the conclusion of the opening ceremony, with a bao in hand, we headed to our first series of ‘social’ games. It was a very tiring day of constant shuttling between basketball, touch, athletics and indoor soccer.  Adding to the frantic nature of the day, a poor interpretation of the timetable (on my behalf), saw a mad scramble to conjure up players for our touch match, which was to be held 3 hours later. Despite my eagerness, we had limited success in the touch and the basketball (Yellow Team). However, the OSCA contingent dominated the track in the athletics, winning the women’s relay, women’s 800m, and the men’s mile. At the end of the day, there were definitely mixed feelings about the indoor soccer. Unlike our predecessors, we made the quarterfinals, finishing in 3rd place after being eliminated by a very strong Canterbury side. What better way to end an eventful day than hit the party scene at JDV. Although, awkward at first, the social was a great way to meet other fellow Chinese and catch up with old friends.

The second day of competition saw much improvement in the Touch. Through a fancy display of teamwork, we beat the Waikato B team, fulfilling our goal of winning a single touch game. A great achievement considering the amount of practices we had organized (just one!).  For some, the second social at Snafu, the rubix party, was the highlight of the tournament.  It was definitely a memorable event, comprised of a vivid display of rubix colours, much dancing, eating, and laughing.  
The third day, our final day of competition, was what I considered the most memorable of all. After a nail biting 42 minutes of intense men’s basketball, the scores were locked between the hosts, Canterbury and the OSCA Blue team. A foul in the dying moments of the game, gave the OSCA blue team the opportunity to seal the game.  After missing the first free throw, the weight of the game lay on Anthony’s shoulders. With each bounce of the basketball, the tension mounted in what seemed like a very hostile environment. However, Anthony maintained his composure and made the final basket to win the game. In the aftermath of the game, the OSCA contingent was in high spirits, in a state of euphoria. Additionally, the OSCA women’s basketball team also did remarkably well facing off with Wellington in the semi finals. After a tough hard fought 42 minutes, the OSCA team came off second best (a remarkable feat non-the-less.) We celebrated the day’s accomplishments with a scrumptious banquet at Daphne’s Restaurant, before heading out to the house party.

The fourth and final day of the Easter tournament, provided the opportunity to further bond with the OSCA contingent and it was a great day watching the other contingents battle it out for the top spot on the basketball court. Later that evening, we suited up and headed to the annual Black and Bling Easter Ball. The night’s proceedings included the trophy ceremony, exemplary food and a lot of dancing. As the event drew to a close, we left Christchurch with the Goodwill & Friendship cup, Women’s relay cup, Men’s mile and Women’s 800m in hand and said goodbye for another year.

Many thanks to Frances, Colin, Leanne, Linus, Sharon and Raymond who all contributed to the organizing of the OSCA contingent.

To say the least, I was astonished at the level of thought and organization that had been contributed to the Easter event, especially for a city ravaged by earthquakes. If I was to describe the Easter tournament in a couple of words, I would describe it as: Frantic, Fun, and definitely a worthwhile experience. Bring on Wellington 2014!

The Touch Team

Indoor Football and Indoor Netball
OSCA Contingent at the Tournament Ball

Men's Basketball

Women's Basketball

Mixed Touch (Rugby)

Lion Dance at Cultural Concert/Opening Ceremony