Sports Changes at NYU Shanghai

Bishka Chand explores the effects of recent changes to the sports program at NYU Shanghai.

Since its founding, the athletics program at NYU Shanghai has gone through many sets of changes to help support the development of sports teams at various levels, from intramurals and clubs to competitive teams. Every year, Student Life has to make many decisions in order to maximize the budget allocated to the athletic program and this leads to cuts as well as the introduction of new programs in the NYU Shanghai community. These changes inevitably impact the student body, from the student athletes to avid spectators.

In the small community of NYU Shanghai where students frequently come and go, there’s nothing quite like sports to bring the whole community together. Whether it is a men’s basketball game at home or a women’s soccer game in Puxi, it’s always great to have students coming to cheer on the players. This is especially true for student athletes who have been invested in the sports programs from the very start, such as seniors Kevin Pham and Ng Meizhi.

Pham was a member of the men’s basketball team that was cut during his study away year because of several losses last season that eventually led to their exclusion from the league. “I feel terrible for the seniors who come back and find that the teams they built just suddenly disappeared, especially the basketball program because in the short time it’s been here, it was one of the most established sports teams in the community,” he said.

According to Pham, it’s very important that everyone, both students and staff, feel invested in their community and put in a concentrated effort to build the program. As a new school, NYU Shanghai may not have the facilities and resources of a regular U.S. college, but if more intramurals and club sports are introduced then it would be a very rewarding experience for the whole student body and improve the dynamics of the community as a whole, because students are coming together to play sports and have fun.

Meizhi Ng was a member of the women’s soccer team, which was also cut recently. “The recent cut makes me sad, and I would really like to bring the team back, but I do understand that there are so many challenges that come with it.”

This is very true for NYU Shanghai, especially because as an international university, there are a handful of special considerations that need to be made, such as bilingual coaches for the students.

Despite the recent changes and cuts however, the athletics department remains optimistic about new roads ahead. Jay Voigt, the Global Leadership Fellow for Athletics, revealed that there are new and improved programs now up-and-running for team sports such as volleyball and flag football as well as group fitness and dance classes. The department is paying attention to the level of student involvement from last year, and is looking to broaden the number of sports offered at NYU Shanghai while staying on budget.

“The key to a successful athletic program would definitely be commitment, and it is a very important for the athletics department to see students committing to their competitive sport, or even just showing regularly to the group classes they sign up for,” Voigt commented. The athletics department looks forward to working with committed student athletes to support various sports teams here at NYU Shanghai, and are always open to suggestions on how to improve their program.


This article was written by Bishka Zareen Chand Please send an email to managing@oncenturyavenue.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Arshaun Darabnia

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