VSA to Host a Tournament That’s Got Students Talking

February 28, 2009  

By: Mai Lyn Ngo
mngo@smu.edu

Students have all heard about basketball tournaments, food eating competitions, and teams pitted against each other for ultimate frisbee, but when has rock climbing, table tennis, and pool been put together?

The Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) is hosting its very first rock climbing, table tennis, and pool tournament on Tuesday, March 31. The tournament is open to every SMU student who wishes to compete.

“Most Americans tend to link the game of table tennis with Asians. We hope to try to change that perception and show that Asian [people] can do more than wield a little racket,” Christy Vutam, the president of VSA, said.

Each participant must pay a $3 entry fee to enter the tournament. The tournament will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the outdoor volleyball courts of the Dedman Center and Lifetime Sports. VSA executives continue to work on finalizing event details, discussing whether to include a fan competition, if competitors can enter into more than one sport, and what the prizes will be for the first place winner of each sport.

Even in February SMU students are already talking about this one-of-a-kind event.

“I love rock climbing and I usually do it during my free time. I can’t wait to test my skills against other competitors,” SMU sophomore Janet Leung said.

“I’m looking forward to showing everyone that tiny people can climb fast,” said Darshini Shaw, a first-year at the school.

VSA usually focuses on cultural events and community service. This past semester, the organization hosted its annual “Pho Night,” an ethnic cultural food event, where proceeds help fund a holiday party for underprivileged elementary kids.

Vutam says with this upcoming event, VSA hopes to attract a wider audience.

“VSA is about enlightening the SMU community about the Vietnamese or Asian culture,” Vutam said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t put on purely social events that aren’t necessarily related to our cultural heritage. An event like this will attract people who wouldn’t normally come out to a VSA event, but now they have a chance to learn about us and continue to come to our other programs.”

First place winners in all three tournaments will receive prizes. VSA will provide free drinks and food for their participants on the outdoor volleyball courts.

All athletes will receive a coupon for boba tea, a Taiwanese drink that VSA sells on the West Bridge of Hughes-Trigg twice a month, as a token of appreciation for participation in the tournament.

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