23 April 2019
Alpine Field will be populated by soccer players and fans alike as the fifth annual Kick It international soccer tournament takes place throughout the day on April 27.
The event is made possible by the coordination of three UCCS departments: Campus Recreation, the M.O.S.A.I.C. office, and the International Affairs Office.
Jesse Perez, assistant director of the M.O.S.A.I.C. office, said in an interview that the three coming together is a “great partnership.”
“This was an effort that started within the MOSAIC office. Part of what we do is collaborating with the International Affairs office to support international students on campus,” Perez said.
Campus Recreation, he said, “helps us with pretty much all of the logistics the day of. They provide the referees, the space, the equipment, the staffing and everything. It’s a great partnership in that way.”
As for the M.O.S.A.I.C. office, their role is to focus on promotion and planning while encouraging students to form teams and participate.
“Part of our core mission is to provide opportunities for students to learn about different cultures and interact with people from different cultures and also find a sense of community with folks who share a similar culture or the same culture,”Perez said. “So that’s kind of why we started it (the Kick It tournament).”
“This is something that our students were wanting to see,” he added.
Skyler Cook, program coordinator for competitive sports at the Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center, elaborated via email about the structure of the event and how it works.
According to Cook, students form teams of five amongst themselves, and compete in a round-robin style tournament. But he added that this tournament is slightly different from the typical intramural league tournament.
“Teams are guaranteed at least two games,” Cook said, “and they play through pool play before qualifying for the playoff bracket. This allows teams to play a variety of different teams and advance based on their record.”
Prizes are available for the winners, and include intramural champion T-shirts, Old Chicago gift cards, and a team trophy. Other merchandise is available for participants and attendees. The event is free to enter, according to Cook, unlike typical intramural tournaments, which usually come with a $7 participation fee.`
Each team will be able to represent a country of the players’ choice, similar to a classic game of “world cup.” The goal, according Perez, is to raise cultural awareness and create an opportunity for students to bond with other students from their own cultural background and to learn about other cultures that differ from their own.
“From the M.O.S.A.I.C. side we’re just trying to create a space where people engage with each other from different cultures and experiences,” said Perez.
The tournament typically consists of 12-16 teams, according to the Recreation and Wellness Center’s website. Though there is no hard deadline to register, Perez mentioned last week that all team slots were nearly full, thanks to recruitment efforts by Philip Oke-Thomas, the M.O.S.A.I.C office’s community outreach coordinator.
Questions about registration should be directed to Cook at [email protected].