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Regular version of the site

‘Football Brings People Together’: HSE University Holds Mini-Football Tournament for International Students

Six men’s teams and two women’s teams made up of international students from 30 countries took part in the first ever HSE Inter Football Cup. The event was organised by the Support and Career Centre for International Students and Alumni, the Department of Internationalisation, and the Department of Physical Training.

Victoria Panova

‘The idea of hosting a mini-football championship for foreign students originated quite a long time ago. HSE is an international university; almost 5,000 foreign students study here. And even this first tournament showed how popular football is among them. More than 100 people from 30 countries took part in the competition,’ explained HSE University Vice Rector Victoria Panova.

Not even rain could spoil the tournament, which was held at the Energiya stadium. The players and spectators had extra help getting into the competitive spirit thanks to the HSE Cheer & Gym cheerleading organisation and the university’s crow mascot.

The men’s teams in the HSE Inter Football Cup were based on faculty, including the faculties of Computer Science, Economic Sciences, Social Sciences, and World Economy and International Affairs, as well as the Graduate School of Business and the International Prep Year. The two women’s teams were made up of students from the same faculties, as well as the Faculty of Creative Industries, HSE MIEM, and the School of Foreign Languages.

Over the course of the day, each men’s team played up to five matches against different opponents determined by a draw each round. The two women’s teams played against each other outside of the tournament standings.

The players came from countries across the Middle East, the CIS, Latin America and Africa. The participants only had one full training session before hitting the pitch, but what they may have lacked in practice they more than made up for in effectiveness and a shared desire to win.

Oleg Bulykin

‘The matches were adjudicated by professional referees,’ said Oleg Bulykin, Head of the Department of Physical Training. ‘The Prep Year team fought hard to become the winners of the first HSE Inter Football Cup. Second place went to the team from the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the team from the Faculty of Economic Sciences came third.’

Tournament Results

1st place: International Prep Year

2nd place: Faculty of Social Sciences

3rd place: Faculty of Economic Sciences

4th place: Faculty of Computer Science

5th place: Graduate School of Business

6th place: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Yulia Grinkevich

As noted by HSE University Director for Internationalisation Yulia Grinkevich, events such as the HSE Inter Football Cup help international students to develop leadership qualities and more quickly adapt to life in Russia. This also has a positive impact on their academic performance. ‘Football is the number one team sport in the world. Not only is it fun, but it also teaches people to cooperate and help each other. It truly brings people together,’ she said.

Artem Emelyanov, Tutor, Visiting Lecturer of the Department of Physical Training

‘Although they only met not long before the start of the tournament and only had one full training session, the players gave it their all on the pitch, played fairly, and put their own tactical developments and game plans into action.’

Alikhan Esymkhanov (Uzbekistan), member of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs team, student of the World Economy programme

‘I like taking part in the university’s events, and I also love football! So, as soon as I heard about the tournament, I eagerly applied. And the tournament exceeded all my expectations! There was a great competitive atmosphere, we got to know each other better during breaks, and talked about tactics. Everything was fun and positive.’

Diana Nalegach (Kazakhstan), member of the women’s team, student of the Computer Systems and Networks programme

‘It is very touching that women’s teams weren’t overlooked, even though I myself know how difficult it is to put a women’s team together for games like this. But no—there’s women’s football at HSE! In addition to the spectacular football, the tournament was a wonderful opportunity to meet what turned out to be the huge international contingent at our university. It was so cool to meet people from all over the world and to learn about their cultures and mentalities.’