Page 25 - FIS World Feb 2019
P. 25

Game On!
A new regional sports conference opens up the playing field for more students
Bright-colored jerseys, squeaking sneakers and the steady thump of basketballs mixed with a nervous energy during a recent Saturday in the FIS
Stroth Center, belying what was otherwise a gray winter morning. As young athletes gathered in center court, the buzzer signaled tip-off and thus began the inaugural basketball tournament of the Rhein Main Athletic Conference (RMAC).
The RMAC currently has four participating international schools from the Rhein Main region: Frankfurt International School’s Oberursel and Wiesbaden Campuses, Metropolitan School Frankfurt, and Strothoff International School. Over the past year, the FIS Athletics Department has been developing the conference in an effort to provide additional sporting opportunities to student athletes in the middle school age group.
“The league is intended to provide a minimum of three games, plus a tournament, to expose emerging student athletes to competitive sports within a developmental structure,” said FIS Activities Director and Assistant Athletics Director, Ryan Erickson. “It’s giving our student athletes more opportunities to be involved in sports here at FIS, but it’s also opening up options for other local students who attend schools with smaller athletic programs.”
For many of the athletes, this was their first organized tournament and you could sense the excitement among the participants.
Although the concept for the RMAC has been in the works for some time, the 2018/2019 fall sports season was the first to see action. In October, runners from Metropolitan School Frankfurt came to FIS for a Cross Country meet in the nearby woods, and in November, Strothoff International School hosted a tournament for soccer. “We couldn’t have been happier with the success of these initial events,” said Mr. Erickson. “For many of the athletes, this was their first organized tournament and you could sense the excitement among the participants.”Winter sports included basketball and swimming, and the RMAC will host track and field and volleyball events in the spring.
Lori Nolte, who teaches physical education at FISW and is the school’s middle school basketball coach,
experienced that exhilaration first-hand during the February basketball tournament. “What a weekend our team had. Six of our eight players had never played organized basketball before and I was so proud of how far all of them had come in just a few months – and with so few practices!”
Along with the goal of further developing sport in the Frankfurt region within existing international schools, it is the hope that the RMAC may eventually also provide additional game opportunities for FISO and FISW teams.
“We’re really excited about how all of this has come together and have strong ambitions to grow as competing schools’ sports programs develop,” said Mr. Erickson. “Ultimately, this is a terrific opportunity for the student athletes and for the schools involved, and it’s also an excellent way to connect with our surrounding school communities.”
Basically, it’s a win for everyone involved.
Ricky Donnelly
FIS World Staff Writer
The league structure offers some flexibility, including options to field co-ed teams. “This provides an opportunity for all interested student athletes to be involved,” said Mr. Erickson.
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