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The hawk hatches IV: Nitya interviews some of our amazing sports coaches

If you read this series, you know what NECIS is, that the program was instigated by Toni Heisterberg and how much we struggled. That Hawks is the name of our sports teams and that there is a big background behind of how we came up with this mascot. And how from being complete underdogs, we now have 45 teams who participate which overtime have also won many medals. But all of this could not be possible without the constant support and contributions of the coaches back then who worked very hard for us to enjoy what we now call NECIS and our sport clubs.

Toni Heisterberg:
“Well, I was there at the beginning so I guess you could call me the founder of the programme. However I have done everything imaginable. I have coached most sports at one time or other, I have chaperoned and led trips to tournament, I have helped to build gyms, I have managed facilities, created timetables and schedules, run tournaments, worked at tournaments, hosted tournaments, been sports psychologist, been first aider, liaised with parents and faculty, networked with local Kommune, organised uniforms, got sponsorship — I've pretty much done it all.”

Paul Mitchell:
“I was a coach when I first came to Denmark in 2002. I coached Track and Field, Softball, Soccer, Basketball, and Rugby. As AD I introduced Rugby to NECIS, had a major influence on Track and Field competitions, and introduced Rugby, Swimming and Tennis teams to our program. I organised tournaments in Softball my first year, Soccer and Rugby, and our first hosting of Track and Field in 2007. I was the Track and Field Head Official (Referee) when we hosted in 2011 and 2012.”

Todor Kubura:
“I was very fortunate for the opportunity to join CIS Hawks sports program six years ago. My journey started with coaching the U10 basketball team and I immediately felt being part of the team. A few months later, I started working in the Athletics Department and sharing the office with Mr. Robert Reynolds who introduced me to the Hawks program. His mentorship and leadership skills, together with unrelenting energy and enthusiasm, inspired me from the first day. Every day in the office is another opportunity for me to help athletes, coaches and parents achieve their sports goals and enjoy every moment on and off the sports court or field. I am also grateful for the opportunity to work with many different nationalities amongst our coaching staff and our goal is to have many happy, healthy and proud athletes. The CIS Hawks sports program continues to grow and provide even more opportunities for all athletes. For me personally, working closely with Mr Gil Grant during the last three years is an extension of my enjoyable journey as I thrive and learn new things every day. My motivation is to help our sports community grow and to keep providing unique opportunities for athletes, coaches and parents.”

This is how Hawks started. This is how CIS students are able to enjoy and participate in all of those NECIS competitions. Thank you to Toni Heisterberg for thinking about this and instigating this program, and thank you to Robert Reynolds, Jakeh Wearne, Paul Mitchel, Gil Grant and Todor Kubara for helping in bringing this program to a whole new level. Now that you know so much about our Hawks sports community, why don’t you share this with your family and friends?


By Nitya Khandelwal, Middle School student reporter

If you missed the other articles, find out how our sports program was instigated., read about how Hawks became our mascot and the name of our sports teams , and enjoy our journey from complete underdogs to today's 45 teams.