Gå til indhold
All news

The hawk hatches: Nitya investigates how our sports programs began

Many students from our school participate in NECIS and take sports coaching after school. At the end of each training they scream “GO HAWKS!”. Everybody enjoys it and loves it… But have they ever wondered what exactly is NECIS? How did it instigate?

NECIS stands for Northwest European Council of International Schools sports council. It is an organization founded in 1980 and an organization CIS joined in 1995. CIS travel to compete against different international schools several times a year and proudly compete under the name Hawks.

The program was instigated by Toni Heisterberg who at the time was the CIS Athletics Director. Speaking with Toni she told me the following story:

“In May of 1995 I was asked by the Director of CIS, Leif Bernsten, to attend the meeting of the NECIS Athletic Directors in the Hague. My mission was to find out about the organisation and to discover whether it would be possible for CIS to join.

Through a series of misunderstandings and maybe a little forgetfulness on the part of the Athletics Director from American School of the Hague (ASH), I did not get to attend the meeting. I was waiting for about 4 hours at the grounds of ASH for the ADs to come back from the Track and Field tournament for their meeting. They basically forgot or did not know I was supposed to be coming, so instead of returning to the school they went directly out to dinner and had the meeting there. This was before mobile phones so you can imagine how frustrating it was for me. I had no idea what was happening; it was not possible to communicate.

As I arrived back at the hotel feeling very cold and dejected, the phone rang and it was a very apologetic Garry Jones from Hamburg who was the chairman of the NECIS organisation. He had no idea I was supposed to attend the meeting so we ended up having a long phone conversation and agreed to have another one the following week once we had returned back to our respective schools.

All this information I took to our Director Leif Bersten and before I really had the chance to totally digest the consequences we had agreed that CIS would participate in the Autumn Soccer and Volleyball tournament and the winter Basketball tournament of the following school year, on a trial basis. We agreed to field teams in all levels (U12, U14, JV, Varsity) and my job was to somehow magic these teams and coaches and practice facilities out of thin air!

So our first official teams participated in NECIS tournaments in the school year of 1995/96 and I have to admit we had a pretty rocky start, but that is a whole different story.”

You must have learnt a lot about how the struggle was to start all that we enjoy today, with the personal story of Toni Heisterberg. If you enjoyed reading this you will definitely enjoy what more interesting information we will write about Hawks next week!

By Nitya Khandelwal, Middle School student reporter