By Frank Cox
— On Saturday, Apr. 18, participants from six university colleges from around the Netherlands gathered in Amsterdam for the annual University College Student Representatives the Netherlands (UCSRN) Tournament. They competed in sports and creative contests hosted by Amsterdam University College at the Science Park Campus. After a day of diverse competitions, and a few shenanigans such as attempted robberies of the AUC mascot and the trophy itself, the home team had come out on top, 14 points clear of the runner-up, University College Roosevelt (UCR).
From 10.45 to 16.55, when the final whistle blew, sports including men and women’s football, basketball, hockey, table tennis, relay running, and a 5km run took place inside the Universum gymnasium and surrounding grounds. The weather was on everyone’s side, reaching 14 degrees Celsius and remaining sunny throughout the day.
Each team played every other a single time, after which the scores were totaled. UCR won the basketball and men’s football events, earning 12 and 15 points, respectively. University College Utrecht (UCU) came out on top in women’s football, table tennis and the relay run, but AUC still won the overall sports competition. AUC earned the most points in mixed hockey and the 5km run, putting it one point above Utrecht, once the other sports scores were taken into account.
The creative and intellectual tourneys were as equally balanced as the sports, with UCR nudging out AUC in the chess and painting, but falling behind them in the debate and League of Legends competitions. However, after including the scores for the movie project, AUC stood a full 3 points ahead of UCR in this section of the competition.
AUC was just as confident in the performances, winning the battle of the bands and the dance competition, and coming in third in the improv and mascot competitions. The improv was an opportunity for the colleges to work together, as contributors from each institution collaborated on stage in spontaneous sketches that drew laughter from the audience and judges.
A somewhat unofficial mascot performance took place near the end of the evening, when two attempts were made to steal the AUC Charizard mascot’s head. First Leiden University College (LUC) ran off with the head, but was foiled at the Science Park train station by pursuing AUC students. A later attempt led to a similarly dramatic chase from the Oerknal Cafe towards the train station. During the party, AUC students heard rumors of an attempt by UCU to succeed where LUC had failed.
Floris Cobben, who sprinted after the pranksters on both occasions, said the first attempt put “various AUC individuals on high alert,” but still UCU managed to hustle the head out of the door of the Oerknal Cafe where the celebratory party was underway. “The mask ended up outside, with AUC and other UC people in hot pursuit,” Cobben said. “After a display of our physical superiority they relented, and we brought the mask to safety at the dorms.”
According to him, the trophy was also stolen twice and is now in Rotterdam. “To my knowledge the cup also got stolen, and recovered, and then stolen again,” says Cobben. “We didn’t get it back.” This followed on from last year, when AUC lost to UCU on its home turf but successfully smuggled the trophy back to Science Park.
As for the rest of the day, the organization went smoothly and the AUC team was thrilled to win. “It was an amazing day, every second of it,” said UCSRN event organizer Steef van den Einden. To his relief, most of the expected problems like no-shows and injuries shows never materialized. “Everything went surprisingly well,” he said. “Especially, of course, for AUC. Since I was in charge of the scores, I was the first to know that we’d win the tournament and it was very hard not to shout it around and keep a relatively straight face.”
The UCSRN is in its fifth annual iteration and was previously called the InterUC tournament.