Elementary school soccer teams in Taipei's Tienmu District squared off against each other yesterday.
Funded by the Taipei City Government, the Tienmu Elementary School hosted a junior soccer championship in the Tienmu Sports Park, complete with an opening ceremony, all-day soccer matches and a banquet in the evening.
"We wanted to promote goodwill and friendship among the elementary students in our district and give them a chance to have some fun together," said Tienmu Elementary School Principal Chang Hui-hsiung (
The players' parents had spent many weekends helping their children prepare for the matches yesterday, said Chang, and he was thrilled to see that teams from the Taipei American School (TAS), Taipei European School and Taipei Japanese School had participated.
Children of many nationalities played together amid the smell of freshly cut grass mingled with sunshine.
After every match, Chang and other organizers handed out medals to the "Most Valued Players" on each team.
Enthusiastic parents, meanwhile, cheered on their children from the sidelines while school representatives handed out free snacks and T-shirts to spectators.
"There aren't too many athletic tournaments for kids this young, so we're really grateful to have an event like this," said Corning Painter, a father of a TAS team player.
Painter also praised the Tienmu Elementary School and the city government for organizing the event.
The Taipei Japanese School team took first place, with the second, third and fourth places going to Shi-dong Elementary School, Sanyu Elementary School and Tienmu Elementary School, respectively.
The winners were awarded trophies at the banquet, Chang told the Taipei Times, adding that the dinner was yet another opportunity for the players and their parents "to get to know one another and make friends."