University of São Paulo: Freshman Championship reopens season of sporting events at USP

After two years of social isolation and distance training, USP undergraduate students meet again in person for sports competitions. Bichusp , an intermodality championship for freshmen, organized together with student athletics and the USP Athletics League (Laausp), will take place in two stages. The first, for 2020 and 2021 entrants, starts on March 26. The second, for 2022 entrants, will be played from May 14. It is not necessary to register, just look for the athletic unit of which the student belongs or show up on the day and place of the tournament.

Bichusp is considered the gateway to university sports. Throughout its duration, newly approved students at the University have the opportunity to interact with the athletics of their units, socialize with the teams and get in touch with modalities that are little known, such as rowing and softball.

This year, for the first time in its history, veterans who joined the University in 2020 and 2021 will be able to participate in the competition. The main objective is to ensure that the event is also inclusive for students who entered USP during the pandemic. Veterans will be able to participate in all the modalities offered in the first stage of the event and in the second stage (check the schedule below) of the rowing, softball, futcampo, rugby, swimming, wrestling and athletics competitions, together with the 2022 entrants. In addition, between April 30 and June 12, esports competitions will be held for all students.

The importance of university sports championships goes beyond their role for the physical health of students. Ana Lúcia Padrão dos Santos, professor at the School of Physical Education and Sport at USP (EEFE), believes that “competitions like Bichusp have a meaning of their own. They can help team members to feel a sense of belonging, to better understand the identity of their unit and USP itself”.

The teacher, who studies the sociological dimensions of Physical Education and Sport, explains that the fact that Bichusp has a voluntary participation and is organized by the students themselves creates an environment conducive to the engagement of participants. “Students who are veterans and who help organize the event feel that they leave a legacy for the new classes.”

Over time, the championship, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, has developed its own history, forming an environment of interaction between people: “There is a sports culture, rites and traditions, which pass from generation to generation of students , within each USP unit, and in this sense the personal and institutional history meet”, Ana Lúcia points out.

Even if it is a competition, there are essential positive aspects that must be taken into account, much more than victory or defeat, but the interaction between people, support for overcoming challenges and the experience of having lived the University fully, in all its possibilities”
Ana Lúcia Padrão dos Santos, professor at EEFE about Bichusp

Iana Maciel, Publishing student and vice president at Laausp, says that, in 2022, the challenge of organizing the competition has been great. “We need to think about how to organize the championship in an inclusive way, but also logistically viable. It was necessary to put three generations of bixos to play modalities that hold few people, without Bichusp being extended for a long time.” Despite this, she says that the organizers didn’t stop working until they found a solution: “It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding”.

For Iana, participating in sports teams has made a difference in her training. “I even get emotional talking about college sports. For me, college sport is not just sport, it’s not just physical exercise. It’s education, it’s permanence in college, it’s feeling belonging, finding your people, beyond the friendships in the classroom.”

The Publishing student understands that, even for students who don’t want to compete, tournaments like Bichusp are important: “You can make friends without necessarily being on a team. Just by going there to cheer, you can meet the people in the stands. Sport is inclusive even for non-athletes.”

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