Panthers of ISKL #178: The IASAS Season 1 Stars

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IASAS Season 1

It was an unforgettable, thrilling, and fun-filled three-day event during IASAS Season 1 of the 2023-2024 academic year. Our varsity teams from Climbing, Cross Country, Soccer, and Volleyball gave their all, showing true Panther spirit, resilience, and sportsmanship while strengthening incredible bonds and friendships with their peers from other IASAS schools.

Here, we catch up with our very own ISKL-IASAS Season 1 athletes and find out as a team what they were most proud of, their most memorable moments, and what advice they would give to fellow athletes taking part next season.

Here are their stories:



IASAS Season 1 Girls Climbing Team

(Words by Mina E. (‘24))

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

About two weeks ago, we had a bouldering competition that was the first ever for many climbers. Nonetheless, ISKL placed second out of 12 other schools. Additionally, we recently participated in a larger lead competition, where everybody performed their best. Six climbers were qualifying for the finals, and two ended up on the podium.

Regardless of these impressive results, my most memorable moment was the shift in our team dynamic and the bonding we developed in our last season’s competition. Our climbers came out of their shells, loudly cheering each other on. I noticed that whenever a team member went off the wall and completed their attempt, they would be welcomed with a hug or high five.

Lead climbing has two difficult routes, and the climber must clip the rope as you progress closer to the top. I specifically remember having a sense of belonging when our team, like a family, supported one another until the end. We shared our knowledge about techniques and ways to improve, always wanting the best for one another. You could feel it was always genuine, which made it so special.

I was lucky to compete in the finals, and my team was cheering for me. I later discovered that even though finals were held on a separate date from the prelims (not to mention early in the morning), my coach, Mr Bollom, was watching the live stream back on campus with all the Elementary School (ES) climbers. The team was there with me as I proudly claimed 1st place, and my sister, Kaya, placed 3rd. Seeing the team watch each other’s climbs and having our families support us has been the most memorable part of this season. As a senior, I am so grateful to have been lucky enough to experience this and be involved in our first-ever varsity climbing team at ISKL.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the team we have created and our progress in our limited time together. Our group ranges from climbers who started this season to others with years of experience, and I’ve witnessed everyone learn and grow so much, not only as stronger climbers but also as a team.

From learning to tie their figure eight knots, belaying each other, clipping their own clips, and fearlessly climbing up a 15-meter wall, the progress these climbers have made has been incredible to witness. We are a group that strives to improve, and the dedication everyone put into this season was the reason for our success. The hard work has been meaningful because everyone was motivated by their passion for rock climbing. We were constantly pushed out of our comfort zones, allowing us to become more confident athletes.

I am so proud of the sense of community we created in our team and the significant growth we’ve all had.

Do you have any advice for ISKL athletes participating in IASAS Season 2?

As a senior, this is the biggest advice I wish to give everybody, especially the younger High School (HS) grades. Don’t hold yourself back because you fear you aren’t good enough to be a part of the team – you’ll never know unless you try.

During my three years at ISKL, I have been lucky enough to join the varsity teams for rock climbing, swimming, and track and field. My experiences as a student-athlete have included connecting with people internationally, learning new skills, and gathering knowledge from each other. The memories made through IASAS and varsity sports will always stay with me as a highlight of my HS experience.

As we reach the final years of HS, we notice the Grade 9 students who put themselves out there, join a team, and fit right in. You shouldn’t be afraid to do what you want even if it scares you – the outcomes are worth that risk.
Regardless of your grade and regardless of the ability you think you have in the sport, it’s always worth a shot. With enough motivation and drive, you will undoubtedly find something you are passionate about.


IASAS Season 1 Girls Cross Country Team

(Words by Katelyn L. (‘25))

As a team, what were you most proud of?

Cross country is a mind and body challenge requiring discipline and hard work. At the beginning of the season, we expected to lose people as the season progressed. It was remarkable that not only did everyone stick with Cross Country for the entire season, but we did it with smiles. Our team’s dedication inspires me, and I know we’ll apply it to other aspects of our lives.


IASAS Season 1 Boys Soccer Team

(Words by Ayush V. (‘24))

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

It’s hard to pick one, as there were so many individual moments of brilliance. So many player performances have surpassed the highest IASAS expectations, but for us, it has to be our Bronze Medal win versus the International School of Manila (ISM).

ISM were fierce competitors throughout the tournament, and we had just 20 minutes of rest leading up to our medal match. Just before the Bronze medal game, the team had won a “must-win” game against the International School of Bangkok (ISB), in which they showed resilience and grit, proving their worth at the highest level of competition ISKL has to offer.

The boys were exhausted and drained yet could fire each other up like never before. The self-belief and determination in the following hour of gameplay were a testament to our work over the season. We got ISKL, the medal we had obsessed ourselves with for weeks, through a resounding 3-0 victory!

As a team, what were you most proud of?

Going into the season, we only had a handful of returning players from the previous season with many differing backgrounds. Not everyone knew how each other played, which caused us sometimes to struggle because we weren’t a unit.

After a rough IASAS invitational, the players took it into their own hands to try and band together to form a sense of community. Through building chemistry on and off the field, the failures translated into perseverance and great performances at IASAS. These performances represented overcoming challenges to achieve a goal we all worked towards. That goal? A medal for our school at IASAS!

Do you have any advice for ISKL athletes participating in IASAS Season 2?

As ISKL approaches Season 2 of athletics, I’d like to emphasize the importance of unifying all members taking part in a team. To the seniors and leaders, who may find it daunting to create a sense of togetherness, you must know the crucial and everlasting effects of companionship as you approach IASAS.

While representing ISKL, you, as leaders, spearhead the necessary ability and set an example for the rest of the team as you chase your definition of success. For those underclassmen and athletes relatively new to a sport or new to a team, take risks in advocating for yourself to learn more.

To chase excellence is to absorb the advice from your coaches and captains and implement it into your game. Maintaining these strong relationships creates togetherness and a sense of identity for the team. That sense of identity is crucial in expressing yourselves while you play your heart out for ISKL.


IASAS Season 1 Girls Soccer Team

(Words by Sofia L. (‘24))

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

One of the most memorable moments during IASAS was our game against Taipei. We had a rough start to the day, but we kept our spirits up. We were dancing and singing before the game, and everyone had smiles on their faces. No one expected us to do well going into the game, but it was the best game we played in the entire tournament. We held them at 0-0 for almost the entire game. Although we conceded a penalty in additional time, we still played so well, and our improvement was unbelievable.

I was so proud of everyone, and that game helped us prove that we improved this year and have what it takes to play against difficult teams.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

For being able to maintain our positive attitudes throughout the tournament. Even after the hardest games, we could still enjoy ourselves and keep up our optimistic attitudes for the rest of the time spent in Jakarta. I don’t think any other team there was as positive and upbeat as we were. We kept going no matter what, and we never let a bad game or even injury prevent us from trying our best and keeping smiles on our faces.

Do you have any advice for ISKL athletes participating in IASAS Season 2?

Make the most of the time you have with your team as the season goes by unexpectedly fast, and soon, you will be doing your last chant for the closing game of IASAS. Ultimately, you remember the memories and the friendships you make, not the results. Especially for seniors – make every training count, attend every team bonding activity, and form new friendships with people from different grade levels.


IASAS Season 1 Boys Volleyball Team

(Words by Martin H. (‘26))

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

One of the most memorable moments during the IASAS tournament was our match against Taipei American School (TAS). Coming into this match, we knew that TAS was arguably the stronger team, and that helped give us the idea that no matter what, we had nothing to lose against them. So when the actual game rolled around, it was a highlight to see the level at which we, as a team, could play. Now, while we eventually did lose the game, we could say that we gave it our all during that match and, therefore, had no regrets.


IASAS Season 1 Girls Volleyball Team

(Words by Mikayla W. (‘24))

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

My most memorable moment was winning our last game, deciding fifth place against Jakarta International School (JIS) in IASAS. The crowd was in action, cheering on the long rallies of the final set – when we won, we all ran to each other to embrace the feeling of victory. We knew this was a long battle as we pushed to the fifth set. I could see smiles with tears in our eyes. It was an incredible moment as a team and a great end to our season.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

I am most proud of our growth as a team. When I look back to when the season started, I can see how much we’ve grown together as a team and as individual volleyball players. We accomplished so much this season – our win against Taipei American School (TAS) is definitely one of my proudest moments. The values of community, communication, and commitment have also resulted in achieving an exemplary volleyball season. We have worked hard this season, and I’m so proud of my teammates and accomplishments. As a senior on the varsity team, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to play with this amazing team.

Do you have any advice for ISKL athletes participating in IASAS Season 2?

I believe that balance is the most important part of being a student-athlete. Remember that academics come first, so it is extremely important to ensure that your life as a student is not affected by your sport. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate in sports, but it should encourage you to balance your work.

As an athlete, dedicate time to catch up on school work and recovery for your body’s well-being. This is something that many student-athletes will need to incorporate into their schedules.


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.