June 12, 2014, by Mike Munro
TCG life through a lens
Written by Page Phillips Harrington, Year 2 Archaeology
The Tri Campus games is known for taking students from each Nottingham campus from around the world and bringing them together to compete in a week of sport. These guys train hard, know their sports and are ready for a bit of friendly competition in their chosen sports, but that description doesn’t fit me. I am not a sportswoman, leaving most sports behind in school, and the only exercise I do is the walk into campus in the morning. Yet I got the amazing opportunity to come out to Ningbo to experience the games for myself – so why am I here?
These games are focused on student involvement in all aspects, and that is where I come in. So, introducing ‘Media Girl’ (a nickname given to me by the UK men’s basketball team). I hold the title of ‘Media Assistant’ in the games, a part of the media team out here. I’m one of the people running around in my royal blue polo trying to balance a camera and tripod as I move between events where I either proceed to stick cameras in people’s faces, or stand looming on the balcony with my camera pointed at all the action taking place.
I’m lucky as it means I get to see some moments of every sporting fixture, that’s 14 a day! I think I’ve become a common site to most of the athletes from all campuses, everyone happy to let me film them, all probably hoping I’ll get a shot of them looking cool and scoring, and not falling/tripping or any embarrassing moments- though I have to be honest and say I could probably make a nice little blooper reel of trips, falls and missed shots. And of course there are those who definitely like to pose for the camera, others making sure that I’ll get their best side, pulling out a cool move for the camera- everyone loves an action shot.
With seeing all the sport it means that I’ve been able to meet every team, every team member and their leadership team. It’s sometimes strange to think that everyone out here is a part of the same university as just from walking around campus you can see that the guys from Malaysia and China have such a different university experience, their own little Nottinghams being very different from back home in the UK. The games are important in affirming these links between the three global campuses, and I can see that it is truly amazing to meet these other Nottingham students. We joke that Sutton Bonington is far away and different from University Park, many of my friends referring to it as ‘Narnia’, yet it is in China and Malaysia that we get to experience different cultures and ways of life. Though walking around campus some features will be familiar to all Nottingham students- such as the river that runs around the whole campus, a sculpted garden and of course China’s very own Trent Building, bell tower and all. For me it’s also been really nice to meet the NUTS guys out here from the student TV station, a society that I’m involved with, and seeing how the same society works in a different country.
Food ordering has been a funny challenge, with eating in the campus canteens resulting in lots of pointing at dishes that look appealing, though not really knowing what they are, being handed a plate of unknown food and just hoping that you made the right decisions. Directly translated menus in the high street restaurants and cafes are always a highlight of every lunch, where you are faced with the self-imposed challenge of ordering dishes such as ‘customer’s angry face’, ‘ants on a tree’ or the classic cocktail ‘sexy beach’, just to see what they are.
Chopsticks have also proven a challenge for some which does lead to a lot of laughter over dinner and silly challenges such as eating lasagne with just chopsticks- which it turns out can be done quite easily. But I think once I get back into the UK I will not be eating rice and noodles for a while, and I will probably gorge on proper bread and block of cheddar cheese.
The spirit of the games is obvious everyday- there isn’t a game that doesn’t have cheering spectators to support the teams. I’ve found the whole experience out here so far welcoming, supportive and fun.
We’ve still got 4 days to enjoy the games and all Ningbo has to offer us. The competitive sport games end today, with the closing ceremony being held tomorrow night, but the next few days are going to be filled with a frisbee fun, matches against other universities from the local area, a karaoke night and a little bit more Ningbo culture, all before our Monday departure and long-haul journey back to the UK. There the media team will continue to work to get all our footage edited so that you too can experience a bit of the Tri Campus Games!
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