NYU Shanghai Sports Teams Kick Off First Year as Full Members in Shanghai Sports League

Oct 18 2019

NYU Shanghai’s Qilins kicked off their first year as full members of the Federation of University Sports of Shanghai (FUSS) this fall with a 3-0 win for the women’s soccer team against Tongji University on October 11. The men’s volleyball and soccer teams also began their season with friendlies in which the men’s soccer team won 7-5 against Tongcheng Soccer Club on October 6, while the men’s volleyball team had a close loss against the High School Affiliated to Tongji University on October 13, winning 2 out of 5 sets.

Six of NYU Shanghai’s eight athletics teams are set to compete in tournaments with other Shanghai university teams over the next three weeks, said Athletics and Fitness Senior Program Coordinator Nicole Wu. NYU Shanghai gained full membership in FUSS in Spring 2019, giving all students on the university’s sports teams the opportunity to represent NYU Shanghai in tournament play at some point during the 2019-2020 school year.

“It’s a good start because every student can now participate in the leagues,” Wu said.   Chinese university leagues generally limit the number of international students who can play on a team.  But since NYU Shanghai’s student body is 50% international, the university is in the process of seeking relief from this rule.

 Before Spring 2019, the school’s soccer teams were the only NYU Shanghai athletics teams to join FUSS tournament play, said three-year team veteran Amy DeCillis ’20 of North Carolina. She said the change in status for all the university’s athletic teams is going to have a big impact not only on students, but on the Shanghai university community. 

“When we joined federation play, it made us feel so much more legitimate. It was like the other universities were not only recognizing us as a team, but also as university – it was a way for them to really get to know us as peers,” DeCillis said. “It made us feel like we are really a part of the community and true members of the city.”

 Pep talk

Women’s soccer coach Darren Lu gives the team a pep talk during their first match of the 2019-2020 school year.

Not only will this change to NYU Shanghai’s membership status enable student athletes to test their skills against their peers in the greater Shanghai university community, but it gives students more opportunities to build bridges within our own community, said Dean of Students David Pe. 

 “Surveys by Student Life staff have shown that international students and Chinese students learned to get along best when they were on a team together,” said Pe. “So getting students together through athletics can do a lot for cultural integration on our campus.” 

Steve Cai ’22 of Shanghai, who played on NYU Shanghai’s men’s basketball team as a freshman and is team captain this year, said his own experience as a student athlete testifies to the truth of student life’s research.

“We have students from China, we have students from America, we have students from Mexico on our team, and it can be a big challenge. Sometimes we really can’t reach an agreement on the court, or we have a different interpretation of teamwork, but because we want to succeed as a team, we constantly try to find a balance between our different ideas That’s really the spirit of NYU Shanghai - finding a way to resolve positive conflicts, because you want to figure out a better way for the team. I think that’s how you build something that is invisible, but that is really important to the university.”

--Steve Cai '22

SteveSteve Cai ’22 (center) takes a free throw in a Spring 2019 game against Wenzhou-Kean University, backed by teammates Oscar Yeh ’22  and Louis Veazey ’21.

Stay tuned for future Q&A with Amy, Steve, and Co-Ed Badminton Captain Illenna Wu ’21!