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The "Travelling TITANS," TISA's prodigious athletic talents, have been warmly welcomed by the host teams in Europe to participate in CEESA (Central and Eastern European Schools Association) Tournaments in Football and Volleyball. Throughout the last term, Athletics trips have encompassed all of TISA's sporting divisions: Senior Boys and Girls, as well as Junior Boys and Girls. The tournaments took place in Budapest, Skopje, Moscow and Kiev - and the TITANS did not disappoint, bringing home the hardware, while inspiring all of the community with superb team spirit and camaraderie. Welcome back, TITANS!"

Read about the TITANS and their European achievements, in their own words, below! Their journals were prepared in association with TISA's expert Sports Journalism Team.

Senior Boys

As aspiring athletes, our dream at the beginning of the season was to play in a CEESA tournament. This dream was now a reality.

- Rory, M4

It was a blurry wake up for most of TISA’s Senior Boys Football team as we were travelling to CEESA football tournament in Hungary - hosted by the AISB, the American International School of Budapest. The Team of 15 was made up of M4s, M5s and DP1s along with our coach Mr. Aj and Chaperon Mr. Norton. There was a buzz of quiet confidence within the squad as we were going as defending Champions - with 6 athletes having won the tournament in Moscow last year. We believed we had the squad to go all the way again this year.
As we arrived in cold late-autumn Hungary, we travelled directly from the airport into the bustling heart of budapest. We were given time to walk around the beautiful castle district of Budapest and the statue complex - Hősök Tere. Having taken in the sights of Budapest, we went to meet our lovely host families and tour the AISB. The sheer size of the school, coupled with the marvellous wood finish on the buildings had pleasantly surprised us.

We got better as the tournament went on, growing as a squad, and building the team cohesion and spirit.

- Patrick, M5

As we arrived at school on Friday of the tournament there was excitement in the air. Our opening game of the tournament was against Vienna International School on the biggest pitch that we ever put a foot on. It was baptism by fire in that first game, with the scoreline ending 5-1 to the opposition. To make matters worse, our starting Striker Daniel pulled his hamstring five minutes into the game, leaving him out of the rest of the tournament. One bright spark of the game was a wonder goal from a DP1 Alex. Our next two games were against the hosts AISB and AAS Moscow. Our team had picked up their play and grew with every minute they were on the pitch with two solid victories a 3-1 win versus AISB and a dominating 4-0 win versus AAS Moscow. These victories put TISA in a strong second position heading into the Final Day of Play.

On the morning of our last day at AISB, our host family had prepared an amazing traditional paprika chicken dish, raising our spirits ahead of the matches. The first game followed the script - we won 13-2 against AISB "B-team," setting us up for a semi-final versus the American School of Warsaw (ASW). The game was a showcase of determination and physical grit - with Warsaw just pulling a narrow 5-3 victory late in the game. After a devastating loss, the team worked hard for our 3rd-Place playoff against hosts AISB. They had twice the experience at CEESA tournaments, and with two of our key players on the sidelines, it was a tough task to win. We fought throughout, our TITANS spirit on the match, but just fell short with a 3-1 loss.

We had a good time in Budapest, with a small family of fifteen travelling players bonding over the course of the tournament . Even though we did not come home with a medal, we are proud of the football we played - and the TITANS will return next year to win it all.

Senior Girls

We had our ups-and-downs, but we we are a well-rounded team. The competition is tough but this is CEESA - and we put up a good fight!

- Nastassja, M5

The Senior Girls Volleyball team embarked on an annual trip to the High-School Varsity Volleyball tournament held in Moscow, Russia. Coming into the tournament, our team was confident that they would be able to showcase great volleyball skills and impress the audience. You can never be 100% prepared, but we had the basics down. We wanted to play good volleyball and not let their 5th-place (out of 6) finish from last year bring us down - after all, we appreciate one another and always have a good laugh with the coaches.

Throughout the tournament the results were mixed on the court, scoring wins against ASW Warriors and AAS Moscow JV. The team were in high spirits, even having lost to more experienced teams. The perseverance paid off, and we were able to improve upon last year - finishing 5th out of 8 teams, and even managing to bring some hardware back, in the form of the Sportsmanship Trophy. Our nerves often got the better of us, but we now know that we have the skills - we just need to relax. Individually one player shined bright, with Stella having been awarded a spot on the All-Stars team for her individual and team contribution. Everyone had their personal moments of magic and can learn from the experience to use it as a building block to improve themselves as volleyball players. We enjoyed our time on the court as much as we enjoyed interacting with the athletes from other schools.

Junior Boys

We are confident and ready! We try our hardest, never give up, and I'm happy with our performance.

- Henry, M3

On the 2nd of November the TITANS Junior Boys Football team flew 2,274.9 km to Kiev to compete in the CEESA Tournament featuring an array of athletes from European schools. We won most of our games and were warmly welcomed by the host school! We started discussing the upcoming matches and weighing-up the rival teams from-the-go, during our flight. We immensely enjoyed our first day in Kiev, our meal in a Ukrainian restaurant, our bus tour, some beautiful buildings, and a hike up a very tall mosque - where we conquered our fear of heights at the very top.

Next, we went to PSI, our host school. We had the nicest host families! They gave us great food and talked about history, culture and sights in Kiev. After a fantastic Ukrainian breakfast, we were off to the football pitch for our first match versus NOVA. We were not prepared for that kind of a formidable opponent, losing 4-0 to a team that took it all the way to the finals. Next we played the hosts. Our next few games, we got the TITANS spirit going, winning 3-1 and 12-1 against the hosts and the International School of Latvia. The second day was a deja-vu of the first one - we lost 4-0 again to Belgrade in our first game, but bounced back shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, our run had come to an end when we unexpectedly tied with AAS - we couldn’t score - their goalkeeper was bigger than the goals! Although we couldn’t play in the finals, we took 3rd place, edging hosts PSI 1-0. That was a difficult game - they were ready for us, but we improved our performance in turn. We got a medal and a small trophy - I am so happy about the team's achievement, and had a lot of fun going to Kiev to represent TISA.

Junior Girls

We were well-prepared going into the tournament and expected to finish 3rd or 4th. We definitely did not expect to be in the finals, or to get 2nd place, or to bring home the Sportsmanship Trophy as well! It was amazing!

- Teah, M3

On the 2nd of November, the TITANS Junior Girls Football team flew to Skopje, Macedonia to compete in the CEESA tournament. We played against teams from all over Europe - PSI Kiev, ISL Latvia, ISB Belgrade, AAS Sofia and NOVA Skopje to name a few. We went undefeated throughout the tournament, winning all the group stage games, scoring our goals left, right and center. When it came to the final, we played AAS Sofia. AAS Sofia were on the ultra-defensive throughout the game, having lost to the TITANS 2-0 in the Group stage. Attack after attack, we the TITANS dominated the game, scoring shots on target, but none of them, unfortunately, changed the scoreboard. After a long and very tough game, we proceeded to the penalties. The penalties were tense and we conceded 1-0 to AAS Sofia. That said, we still got 2nd place and were also voted by the other teams to take home the Sportsmanship Trophy. It was a great learning experience altogether!

Macedonia was amazing - lots of mountains and beautiful sunsets. Celebrating with the TITANS and other teams were a highlight, and the whole team sung "Havana" on the bus there and back! Next time, practice penalties, practice penalties, and... practice penalties!

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