The first Abu Dhabi Inter-university Sports League (ADISL) Invitational Sports Festival was held earlier this month. Welcoming the men's and women's soccer and basketball teams from the American University of Kuwait (AUK) to the UAE, athletes from three ADISL schools — Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Masdar Institute, and NYU Abu Dhabi — gathered in the capital for three days of competition.
The NYUAD women's teams celebrated two victories, both against AUK. The women's soccer team won 3-0, while the women's basketball team won 26-14. The NYUAD men's teams, on the other hand, faced two defeats by AUK. The men's soccer team lost 0-3, while the men's basketball team — despite a close match —lost 64-67.
Freshman Victoria de Keizer from the NYUAD women's basketball team recounted her winning game: "We started off on a good note, but about half way through the game we realized that we had fallen two or three baskets behind. During a time-out we decided that we wanted to bounce back and win, but more importantly, that we wanted to enjoy every moment. Once back on the court we truly played as a team."
The ADISL Invitational aims to stimulate greater interest and participation in athletics and to provide the opportunity for students from different universities to interact with each other. Indeed, for AUK, it provided the university with a rare chance to compete against institutions outside of Kuwait. For NYUAD, it allowed the University's athletes to connect with likeminded peers from around the region. "One benefit of participating in the tournament is meeting people from outside of NYU Abu Dhabi and learning how to interact with one another as part of a positive athletic experience for all," said de Keizer.
While the League was originally created to encourage frequent competition between Abu Dhabi universities, NYUAD's Director of Athletics, Intramurals, and Recreation Pete Dicce hopes to reach beyond Abu Dhabi to engage more institutions in the Gulf region. "We hope the ADISL Invitational will evolve into an annual university tournament in which many schools in the GCC can compete," said Dicce.
NYUAD Sports Information, Aquatics, and Outdoor Education Manager Jennifer Scully looks forward to the next ADISL Invitational, most likely to be held next March. "We're trying to build a university sports culture here in Abu Dhabi," explained Scully. "This is a great start helping to grow participation, enhance collaboration, and promote team sports in higher education."