Eleven teams competed in Phi Kappa Tau’s (Phi Tau) first World Cup Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field. The philanthropic soccer tournament, comprised of eight-player teams from different organizations across campus, racked in $640 for The Painted Turtle, a local non-profit dedicated to providing a safe camping experience for chronically ill children.
Sophomore creative producing major and Phi Tau Philanthropy Chair Paarth Trivedi said the merriment of the holiday season was a motivating factor.
“It’s December. It’s all about giving, and what better way to do that than a friendly competition with not only our fellow Greek chapters, but also the entire student body,” Trivedi said. “It feels good to start a new tradition of giving back to our community.”
Following the format of Phi Gamma Delta’s annual Turkey Bowl, the proceeds from every $40 team entry fee went to The Painted Turtle, with an additional $100 awarded to the winning team’s choice charity for the men’s and women’s brackets – both of which also opted for The Painted Turtle.
“The tournament went really well, especially with it being the first time around,” said Phi Tau President Adam Monson. “It’s been great having so much student support to go towards such a good cause.”
In the men’s bracket, Pi Kappa Alpha fell at the hands of eight unaffiliated students on The Extraordinary Athletic Men (TEAM) for the title. Meanwhile, women’s soccer ousted Alpha Gamma Delta for the women’s title.
“We were a back-up team, so we entered the tournament pretty last-minute, but I’m really glad we had the opportunity to compete and actually win our bracket,” said sophomore business major Josh Hale, who captained TEAM.
While the tournament was considered a success, Trivedi said there is a large margin for improvement.
“I have been getting suggestions from all of the teams to try and make this a better experience,” Trivedi said. “If all goes well, we plan on doing it again next year and need as much feedback as possible to keep the tradition going strong.” Monson said that inopportune timing may have caused a low turnout, with the tournament falling on one of the busiest weekends of the year for students cramming for final exams.
“We thought a lot about the timing, but this was the best we could do to keep it on campus. It’s something to learn from and apply next year,” Monson said. Inconveniency didn’t mean any less of a competition for the players.
“I haven’t played soccer in a while, so it was fun to get out there on the field,” said graduate student Laurel Henderson. “I ended up with some battle wounds, but it was well worth it and a great de-stresser.”
Despite the tournament’s affable atmosphere, Trivedi said it’s key to keep the charity forefront.
“It could have been more successful, but we have to remember what’s important,” Trivedi said. “This was about raising funds for people that need help, and I never imagined that we could get 200 students out here all in the name of charity.”