By Sophie Harrington
On the morning of Saturday, November 24, Sciences Po students from the campuses of Reims, Dijon, Le Havre, and Poitiers set out for the first WEIC of the year in Nancy to compete or simply to support their sports teams. Arriving sharply at 11:30am, the Eurams and Eurafs got out of the three buses decked out in their purple and orange gear, after having learned some new chants on the ride over. Marching in unison, Reims was greeted by a mob of Nanciens, in their red attire, and promptly began the first showdown of the event: red and purple smoke was flying, songs were being sung, and the dance moves were broken out.
The first teams to play on Saturday were men’s football, women’s rugby, and co-ed basketball. It was a series of wins and losses for all teams over the two days. Women’s Euram rugby came in second place, losing to Le Havre in the final, while Euraf came in sixth place. Dangerous is a word that could summarize the women’s rugby matches as several players including Euram’s Anique Baillon, who broke her nose and was left with a blue eye, and Euraf’s Founé Diawara, also one of the captain’s of the Euraf women’s football team. Aside from the Reimois, several other women’s rugby players had to be taken to the hospital and carried off of the field by paramedics. Men’s football was taken by the pink jerseyed Poitiers team, who Euram lost to on penalties; Euram and Euraf came in third and fourth place.
Euram basketball came out on top of their bracket, beating Nancy in the final and gaining several points for the purple beavers. However, at their final game, a group of students noticed that a male from Nancy was waving a Confederate flag, which promoted two Reims students to talk to him and take the flag.
The activities for Saturday finished at around 19:30 when students returned to their lodging for the night with their hosts from Nancy. While for some Saturday night was about getting a good night’s sleep to prepare for the matches the next day, others enjoyed the party organized by Nancy’s Bureau des Sports (BDS), with the theme being “Biermistice,” a pun for the celebration of the centennial of the 1918 Armistice that ended the first World War.
Sunday’s games started quite early with men’s rugby, women’s football, and co-ed volleyball playing. Again, players and supporters alike packed their belongings into the gym and got ready to cheer for their home campus. Despite the fact that the Reimois were defeated in both the finals of women’s football and volleyball to Nancy, the fans were as loud and encouraging as ever, beating their drums and waving purple flags. Men’s rugby, on the other hand, took the title as champions, beating Nancy in the final.
Before teams rushed to get on their buses to return to their home cities, the BDS presented the awards ceremony. This garnered much cheering and applause from the students packed in the gym. Additionally, all the Presidents of each campuses’ respective sports association were given a case of German beer on behalf of the Nancy campus.
After a long and quiet bus ride, students returned to Sciences Po at 20:30. While Reims did not dominate in all sports, hopefully, future training will prepare the Beavers and Elephants alike for the next WEIC and Minicrit.
Sophie Harrington is a first year student in the Euro-America Program attending the Dual BA between Sciences Po and Columbia University. Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she has also spent many summers in France where her mom grew up. Previously she was a part of her high school newspaper “The Register Forum” and was inspired by one of her favorite movies, “Spotlight.” After seeing the film, she was able to go to the Boston Globe headquarters and see where the Spotlight team worked!