Violet Pride: NYU Shanghai Teams Compete in Inaugural Qilin Cup

Nov 3 2023

Last weekend, NYU Shanghai hosted the inaugural Qilin Cup sports invitational. Student-athletes from NYU Shanghai, East China Normal University (ECNU), Duke Kunshan University (DKU), and the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) came together to showcase their skills in soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, and badminton.

Chancellor Tong Shijun, Vice Chancellor Jeff Lehman, Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen, and NYU Shanghai’s mascot Qilin welcomed 540 college student-athletes from 36 sports teams representing four colleges and one high school. In all, the two day event included 126 thrilling matches.


Chancellor Tong Shijun, Vice Chancellor Jeff Lehman, Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen, and Qilin made a joint appearance at the Qilin Cup. 


NYU Shanghai emerged victorious in several events, and secured the championship title for women‘s soccer, men’s basketball, and men’s volleyball. ECNU took home championship trophies in women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, tennis, table tennis and badminton. The men’s soccer championship was shared by DKU and ECNU.


NYU Shanghai men’s soccer team celebrating after scoring a goal.


ECNU and NYU Shanghai face off in men’s basketball. 


The men’s volleyball showdown took place between NYU Shanghai and UNNC. In the first set, UNNC secured an early lead. In the second set, we faced an unfavorable start and, trailing by eight points, staged a remarkable comeback to take the set, reversing the score. In the third set, NYU Shanghai maintained their momentum and eventually won the match with a score of 2-1. In this tournament, our men's volleyball team achieved a three-game winning streak, clinching the championship.

In the women’s basketball game between NYU Shanghai and Duke Kunshan, both teams displayed evenly matched skills, with the score going back and forth, resulting in a 29-29 tie at the end of the 4th quarter. Going into overtime, both sides once again battled to a 35-35 tie. Ultimately, NYU Shanghai narrowly lost by one point in the free throw shootout under the competition rules of the Qilin Cup.


Moment from the women’s volleyball match between NYU Shanghai and UNNC.


The Qilin Cup also was a reunion for ECNU’s Xie Fuman and UNNC’s Zhu Sixuan, tennis stars who competed on the same court during their high school days. 

Visiting teams praised NYU Shanghai’s inaugural Qilin Cup as a great model for regional sports competition. Prathiv Kholia, Deputy Director of Sport & PE from UNNC said: “These styles of competitions are a great way to build friendship through sport but also create that sporting rivalry among institutions.” 

NYU Shanghai Athletic Director Luis Wang said the intercollegiate competition will continue among Sino-foreign cooperative universities in the Yangtze River Delta region.  “We hope the competition can ignite students' enthusiasm for sports, showcase the athletic integrity of each university, and serve as a bridge of friendship among participating institutions.” The next competition will be the Duke Kunshan Cup in December.


UNNC men’s volleyball players cheering before the game.


Many thanks to NYU Shanghai Student Health and Wellness Center and SinoUnited Health for working together with NYU Shanghai’s Athletic Trainer to ensure the safety of the event.


NYU Shanghai women’s soccer players Brooklin Dozier (left) and Gabriella Kaija Juhala (right).