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November 24, 2015

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Field of opportunities

I’ve played soccer at a competitive level for five years in California, Michigan and Shanghai, so I have been on my share of athletic fields. And I have to say, the new field at Concordia is one of the best I have experienced, as it creates a more professional environment and mindset for the athletes.

Twice a week, I train on Concordia’s field as part of Active Kids Shanghai International League, one of the teams I play for. As a Concordia student, clearly I love the short commute (there isn’t one!) and when friends stop by the field to cheer us on. We train in the evenings after school, so when it gets dark, having lights on the field is excellent, letting us to practice even later.

We never need to cancel practice or games because of rainy conditions that might cause a natural grass field to be torn up. Even in good conditions, natural grass fields need breaks occasionally to “rest and recover,” or seasonal over-seeding, which makes them unavailable for weeks.

The field’s surface reduces injuries as well. I’ve never gotten “turf burn” from falling or sliding, so it makes me even more confident, allowing me to push myself harder because I’m not afraid of getting hurt when I fall.

The surface also deflects heat in hot weather. I’ve played on artificial fields in Southern California that would get so hot that you couldn’t put your hands on it. Running around on that type of surface makes you tired very quickly. But the technology of the blades, the color of the filler beads and the sprinkler system on Concordia’s field helps keep the surface cool.

The entire area is set up to make people feel welcome and comfortable. There are groups and teams on or around the field almost every night. My mom likes to walk the track while I am practicing. And lots of parents, and even my teammates who don’t go to Concordia, are thankful for the new bathrooms next to the field and impressed at how modern and nice they are!

The new field makes me feel proud of my school. I hear a lot of positive comments from other kids on my team who go to other schools; I am happy to say that we have a nice, professional field to play on.

(Kendra Zak is a Grade 10 student at

Concordia International School Shanghai.)


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