Varsity winter athletes reflect on their experiences at ISSTs


Laila Taraporevala

Lev Gorelik (’25) emerges from the water during the 4×50 meter relay race March 10. As a second-year swimmer on the team, Gorelik said competing in ISSTs was rewarding. “My favorite thing about swimming is getting to be in the pool,” Gorelik said.

Inez Stephenson, Reporter

Every March, varsity teams during the winter season participate in the International Schools Sports Tournaments. This year, ISSTs took place March 9-11. For the past three years, winter ISSTs have been canceled due to COVID-19. However, the competition returned this year. The different teams played in varying countries, where varsity boys basketball headed to Zurich, varsity girls basketball to Vienna, varsity rugby to Brussels and the varsity swim tournament was hosted at ASL. 

Boys basketball

Varsity boys basketball team captain Sinan Sensurucu (’23) said he noticed the energy level was high at the tournament.

“I enjoyed the environment and the spirit of the ISSTs,” Sensurucu said. “It was very clear that everyone was excited to be there. It was a good close out to my final season, and as a team, we also played really well,” Sensurucu said. 

For the first time in 30 years, the varsity boys basketball team won a gold medal at the competition.

Reflecting on their final game, Sensurucu said “we really felt the team spirit and energy come together at the end.” 

Girls basketball

In Vienna, the varsity girls basketball team earned second place after losing against The Frankfurt International School. 

Tamia Windless (’26), a point guard on the team, said although the team earned second place, her teammates “played really well.”

Windless said it was her first year on the team, and she “enjoyed bonding with the team” and found that the ISSTs served as a chance to get to know her teammates over dinners. 

Windless was named one of the top 10 players at the tournament award. 

“It was definitely, like, really unexpected, but I was really happy about it,” Windless said.


Similarly, Berto Wadsworth (’24), a varsity rugby player, said that the ISSTs were a lot of fun and a chance to connect with his teammates.

 “This was the most fun trip we had since it was a two-day trip, so we were able to relax after we played,” Wadsworth said. 

The rugby team placed seventh out of nine teams in the tournament, but Wadsworth said they battled through harsh conditions.

 “It was very rainy and windy – it was hard to make kicks,” Wadsworth said. 

Throughout all of the games, we were still smiling with each other.”

— Berto Wadsworth ('24)

Despite the rain, Wadsworth said the team did not struggle to keep their spirit high.

 “We definitely had good morale,” Wadsworth said. “We obviously lost some games, but I think throughout all of them, we were still smiling with each other.”


ASL hosted both the boys and girls swimming ISSTs for the first time. The girls came in fourth place out of eight teams. 

Dylan Saunders (’26), a member of the varsity girls swim team, said she most enjoyed “getting to see people from other teams” and “getting to enjoy that time and that competition with our team.”

“As a swim team, we’ve known each other pretty well for like four years, but every season we bond a little more,” Saunders said. 

As a swim team, we’ve known each other pretty well for like four years, but every season we bond a little more.”

— Dylan Saunders ('26)

Saunders said she enjoyed attending the tournament at home due to the convenience. However, she said traveling as a team is always a rewarding experience.

 “It was nice it being at home for it, but it’s always fun to travel as well,” she said. 

On the other hand, Hudson Hill Eckart (’24), a varsity boys swim team member, said he prefers having the tournament at ASL.

It is very exciting to be able to host ISSTs, and it’s also quite nice that we don’t have to go on a long Eurostar train,” Hill Eckart said. 

The varsity boys swim team placed first, receiving a gold medal at the tournament. Combined, the boys and girls swim team earned second place overall.