Panthers of ISKL #149: The IASAS Season 3 Stars

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From March 29 to April 2, 2023 our Varsity athletes competed in the third and final IASAS season of the academic year!

From Badminton and Golf at the International School Bangkok (ISB), Baseball and Softball at the Singapore American School (SAS), and Track & Field at the Taipei American School (TAS), how fantastic it was for our athletes to benefit from being able to compete with other IASAS schools and have the chance to travel, experience the inter-cultural hospitality of families and schools in the region, and contend in sports at such a high level.

Here, we catch up with our very own ISKL-IASAS athletes and find out as a team what they were most proud of, their most memorable moments, or what advice they would give to fellow athletes taking part next season.

Here are their stories:



Varsity Boys Badminton Team

(Words by Rajit G. (‘26))

Describe your most memorable moment as a team during the IASAS tournament.

The most memorable time for us was when we were getting ready for the playoffs. This was our last match and the first one of the day, and we were all well-rested and had our spirits up. I vividly remember our captain’s words, “Push till the end, no matter what. We have come this far, not to give up.” We did our cheer and then went in with a great spirit.

It was time for the first seed, Singles 3, Singles 2, and Doubles 2. Singles 3 (Rajit) and Singles 2 (Nihal) had won their matches, and our Doubles 2 team was almost there but couldn’t quite win it. Our spirits were high, and we were leading 2-1. In the second seed, we lost our Doubles 1 match by a bit – that was ok, and it was tied at 2-2. It was then the big Singles 1 match, and we cheered until we couldn’t talk and kept our spirits high. Although we lost, we all knew what was to happen next. We knew our weaknesses, and we were so close to the win. I still remember that although we lost, we and the coaches were proud of our performances, and we all pushed through to the end.

Do you have any advice for ISKL athletes participating in IASAS next year?

Going to my first IASAS, and being only a freshman, I knew that this was an ample opportunity to see my level and that of IASAS Badminton. This was also a nerve-wracking event for me, but what calmed me down was that I was only a freshman in this tournament. I have already come a long way, and this year is for me to see what it is like to be an IASAS athlete. The most significant thing is to enjoy your time there, meet new people, and bond with your teammates. Also, push on until you can push no more!


Varsity Girls Badminton Team

(Words by Ellie C. (‘23))

Describe your most memorable moment as a team during the IASAS tournament. 

While there were many memorable moments, the one we can remember most fondly is after our last match on Friday, playing ISB in the playoffs. We had just badly lost (again) and faced the inevitable reality of coming in sixth place. As the gym cleared out, we hung back, reflecting on our game, talking to the coaches, and feeling quite disheartened overall.

Suddenly, one of our teammates burst into tears, and another one soon after. We were hugging each other, half-crying, half-laughing, trying to wipe away our tears as the song ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran came in over the speakers. It was the wrong song, yet the right one, as many of us broke out in a wave of fresh tears. We wrapped our arms around each other, swaying back and forth, and belted out the lyrics, all while our wonderful coaches comforted and teased us. “I’m dancing in the dark, with you between my arms…”

While this moment started with the defeated sobs of a team that felt they hadn’t tried their best, it evolved into an appreciation for each other and the simple fact that we had made it to IASAS. There was nothing more we could have wanted: to keep singing ‘Perfect’ with tears drying on our faces and a carefree love for the competition. It was a defining moment of IASAS as we accepted each other for the beautiful, proud athletes we were, no matter what the scoreboard said, “Darling, you look perfect….”


Varsity Girls Softball Team

(Words by Lillian L. (‘23))

Describe your most memorable moment as a team during the IASAS tournament. 

We were in the middle of our game against Taipei American School (TAS) and had lost by quite a few points. Then the lightning alarm started, so we waited for the rain to stop, which meant we were delayed for hours; this meant that the parents had left, and it was only us left at the school.

Instead of complaining, my team decided to make the most of it. We put on a concert for ourselves and sang for almost 4 hours until the lightning alarm turned off. As soon as we could play again, we sprinted back to the field and finished the game with high energy. We lost that game, but this made us bond more as a team than any game. We made the most of our experience and didn’t let any loss dictate how we felt about the team.


Varsity Boys Golf Team

(Words by Michael G. (‘25))

Describe your most memorable moment as a team during the IASAS tournament. 

The last night when we all ate dinner with the other teams.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

Coming from behind to beat the Jakarta International School (JIS.)

Do you have any advice for ISKL athletes participating in IASAS next year?

Make sure to have fun – don’t let how you play dictate your mood.


Varsity Girls Golf Team

(Words by Peggy F. (‘23))

Do you have any advice for ISKL athletes participating in IASAS next year?

Always put friendship before the competition. IASAS is an excellent opportunity to make new friends and broaden your views. Also, feel free if you didn’t meet your expectations since you are building experiences for the next IASAS.

For example, some might think golf is easy, but it isn’t easy and takes years of practice to perform well since your swing doesn’t always stay the same, and you have to adjust it occasionally. Your mental state is also a big part of golf; sometimes, when you are mentally unstable, you play worse. Also, external factors may influence your performance, such as playing on an unfamiliar course, the wind, etc.

So, for those who want to join the golf team, do lots of course practice to familiarize yourself with the different rules and modes of play. Our athletes will feel confident and ready to go by the time the next season starts. Even though I will graduate soon, I will keep an eye on the matter.

Good luck to all future IASAS candidates!


Varsity Boys Track & Field Team

(Words by Ryan S. (‘24))

As a team, what were you most proud of?

As a team, I am most proud of the spirit and support we had for each other. During the tournament, people supported one another in each event, screaming and cheering. Even though sometimes we didn’t get the desired result, everyone was still very supportive and consoled each other if they felt down.

I want to shout out to teammate William B. (’24), who brought his speakers to the trip and played music while we waited for our races and events in the athlete’s chill room. It helped create team bonding and an overall more positive experience.

I’m incredibly proud of everyone, and being a captain for them was an honor!


Varsity Girls Track & Field Team

(Words by Enya R. (’23))

As a team, what were you most proud of?

“I was the most proud of how we all helped each other improve, cheered each other on during events, and persevered through all the challenges we faced.”


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always has an anecdote to tell, loves to share some insights into their passions and interests, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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