Binationals Return for 2022 With New Format


Three events of the invitational sports tournaments will occur between February and April 2022 to substitute the currently postponed binationals with six schools participating and three different schools hosting.

The first event will take place on February 23 to 26 at the Gimnasio Ingles in Armenia for girls and boys volleyball. The second event will take place on March 23 to 26 at the Colegio Bolivar in Cali for boys basketball and girls soccer.  The Columbus School will host girls basketball and boys soccer April 27 to 30.   

“Since we started this year we really didn’t have anything to work towards, like a reason to train really hard and give our best but now with binationals coming up, I think we really are going to improve a lot our attitude,” Maria Echeverri, 10th-grade student, said. 

Gimnasio Ingles, Colegio Bolivar, Nueva Granada, Liceo Ingles, Granadino and The Columbus School will participate while the other 6 schools usually participating in binationals will be engaging in a competition of their own. 

“I’m really excited to see everyone again. The last time we saw them was in seventh grade, three years ago. I really want to see everyone again, although you might keep in contact with them through the phone it’s not the same as sitting with them and talking to them,” Echeverri said.

The schedule is going to change in relation to past years’ tournaments. The itinerary accommodates the host and their daily class schedule now that there can not be a high concentration of people at one place. The current schedule consists of Wednesday from 1 pm- 8 pm, Thursdays and Friday will go all day from 8 am-5 pm and Lastly, Saturday will be the championship and the games will go from 8 am-11 am when the final begins, still, this schedule may continue to change. 

“I like that we’re going to have time to spend with our friends and that we were also going to have a chance to have more people see us now that the schedule is accommodated to the hosting school,” Echeverri said. 

One of the main reasons why the organizers decided to do these 3 separate tournaments is that they can divide the sports teams into different places. This is done with the intention of having less concentration of people within one school at the same time so COVID risks are fewer and biosecurity measures more controlled.

“I feel that it is worse than before because before I liked when the school was together at the same place still, I feel it’s a good option because of COVID to prevent cases,” Juan Esteban Perez, 10th-grade student, said.

Nearly 2 years after the beginning of the pandemic the future is still uncertain but the tournament taking place will serve as a pilot for similar upcoming contests in 2022-2023.  Committees such as the task force of the Association of Colombian Caribbean American schools (ACCAS) will determine what the following competitions will look like. 

“We’re very fortunate that we have been able to practice and hopefully this fourth wave won’t affect us where we won’t be able to travel. We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Freddie Badillo, Athletic director, said

After a long time without binationals, Students describe their emotions towards the events with eagerness. Students were affected by the previously postponed event, especially seniors now that some believed that the last opportunity to participate in the event was lost. 

I was very worried I wasn’t going to have my last year’s binationals because it usually is the best year for seniors to have their binationals and there’s when we usually do our best and when they said they are gonna have it I was very happy,” Nicolas Mejia, 12th grade student, said.