Sports & Games As Part of The UIMSA Annual Freshers’ Welcome Ritual

C’est la Vie in 2022, New Horizon in 2023, Nouvelle Nova in 2024. The recent themes of the highly anticipated freshers’ welcome into the department of medicine and surgery, University of Ibadan, has been nothing short of brilliant. It has grown from an event anticipated by just the freshmen; senior colleagues in the association also look forward to welcoming the new set of students and making them feel comfortable in the best ways possible. Particularly in UIMSA, it’s beyond an orientation of courses to be done, practicals to pay attention to, cafeterias to patronize, cool spots to hang out with friends, and extracurriculars to engage in. It exudes camaraderie in every sense of it, and it has always been a sight to behold both for the newcomers and the senior classes. In recent years, this annual ritual takes place on two days; the first day for sports and the second for the proper orientation. It’s no news that sports is arguably one of the climaxes of this event mainly because there’s always a football match played between the new set of students and the sophomores who were once like them the year before.

Despite how much fun is had on the day of orientation, the importance of the sports activities the day before cannot be overemphasized. It opens the minds of the fresh students into how fun the association can be and, more importantly, that the seniors are very relatable and fun to be with. It is the first physical avenue to see your executives in their playful mood as they engage in one or two fun games with the class. It’s an avenue to see the recreational activities that your classmates/senior colleagues are good at, for competition sakes. It’s also an avenue to bond with a classmate/senior over common interests – as simple as a board game. Friendships have been built from the past events and this year’s wasn’t any different. For Nouvelle Nova, the current executives did consider inclusivity in a practical manner.

A group of freshmen playing Scrabble.

The fun began at some minutes past 2pm at the Tedder Hall Senior Common Room on Friday with a novel activity, Indoor games. It was a great time for the freshmen and the games included Scrabble, Chess, Whot and Ayò Ọlọ́pọ́n. This newly introduced idea went a long way in ensuring a high level of inclusivity as individuals who were not really cut out for active participation in outdoor games were given the chance to show their mettle. The attendance at the commencement of the games was about 20 people but it peaked to 50 before the end. The indoor games were rounded up at about 3:45pm and by 4pm, all roads led to the famous SUB pitch for the most anticipated football match between the freshmen and the sophomores. Introductions and chit-chat at the indoor games set the flow of communication amongst classmates, something that would probably be slightly difficult if the first physical gathering had them listening to how to pass Phy 102.

It has been a long-standing tradition over the years that every freshers’ welcome must see the newbies face off with their immediate seniors. It has also always been a highly anticipated match because of the potential upsets and surprises that could spring up – with the major one being that the newbies get a win. The seniors always have an integrity to protect and the newbies, a point to prove. This was no different in the football match between the 2k27 class (the newcomers) and the 2k26 class. The match was underway at exactly 4:30pm. 14 minutes into the match, the pitch erupted with loud cheers as Kingsley Okolo, of the 2k27 class, netted a screamer and put his side in the lead. At that moment, it looked like the event of 3 years ago when 2k24, the newbies at the time, defeated their immediate senior colleagues, 2k23, was about to repeat itself. The feeling, however, was short-lived as three minutes later, in the 17th minute, Azeez of the 2k26 class pulled one back and drew his side level. The draw went on till half-time and a ten-minute break ensued. At about 5:10pm, the second half commenced and after another 30 minutes of exhilarating and breathtaking football, the match ended in a 1-1 draw with the 2k27 side, taking a lot of positives. Pictures were taken at the end of the match as well as the exchange of pleasantries among the newbies and members of the 2k26, 2k25, and 2k24 class. Just like the previous events, the aim was achieved.

The showdown at SUB main football pitch.

It must be underscored that the Day 1 of the two-day event was a huge success as sports once again lived up to the expectation of being a strong unifying factor. Hats off to the executives: Special Duties Officer (SDO) Pre-clinicals, Abraham Greatness (who happened to be the organizer of the event); SDO Clinicals, Olayiwola Theophilus; General Secretary, Folusho Olu-Adegbola and Assistant General Secretary, Rebecca Ogunnaike, for being in attendance – and making the newbies feel welcomed and valued. Special thanks also to the other UIMSAites who came out in their numbers to uphold the tenets of the freshers’ welcome which centers on unity and love.

Okoronkwo Nmesomachi.


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