The Athlete and The Artist
Sports and Arts at ISB
February 6, 2020
When someone mentions IASAS, most people’s minds would go straight to thoughts of swimming, volleyball, soccer, and all the other various sports we have provided at ISB. However, every once in a while one would bring up choir, theatre, dance, and more: the IASAS arts that also exist, just, dare I say, less noticeably.
Personally, I do believe that ISB strives to support both sides as well as they can. Weerit Chaorentra (9) says how he’s “never been to a school that promotes arts and sports like ISB.” And it’s true: we have outstanding athletics and arts facilities, as well as teachers/coaches. So in this case, it’s not an issue of lacking resources. There just may be a lacklustre community opinion.
However, one of the issues in the past was the imbalance of encouraging both “paths,” according to Xuan Fan Loo (12). She says that there used to be more “focus on sports programs and events,” but as an “increasing number of art events are planned, promotion of the arts has become more prominent.” ISB backs up this opinion on the school website, emphasizing how “the Arts at ISB are not seen as optional extras.” So by “giving students the opportunity to engage in both,” instead of having them have to “choose one path,” students remain invested in both programs.
So what’s the problem here?
In the ISB community, I think we often give more recognition to our student athletes compared to our musicians. This can be through unavoidable things, like the fact that sports have to have more ‘events’ due to games/tournaments. Even so, bias can be shown in unintentional gestures. We have four “Black and Gold” assemblies planned for this year, dedicated to the three sports seasons: not to mention the Celebration Banquets, held after each season to acknowledge our sports teams from U13 to varsity. Bangkok Athletics merchandise has also been introduced this year, meant for JV/varsity athletes. Natalie Yepes, a sophomore at ISB also says how she feels that “IASAS sports in Bangkok are a lot more popular and spoken about than IASAS CC events.”
And don’t get me wrong: our student athletes deserve to be cherished. As Derrick Quinet (Athletics Director) put it, we want “all athletes to be rightfully recognized and honoured for [their] participation and achievements.” But the point I’m trying to make here is that we should also be giving the same validation to our musicians, artists, dancers, etc. Weerit, who is a member of IASAS choir, wishes for the school to recognize artistic talents more. They “deserve to be in the limelight as well.”