Business Schools and University Sports? This is a great combination – as the students at Maastricht University prove. Proactively, they launched the three-day “Royals Cup”, a kind of European Championship of business schools, in which around 700 students took part at the beginning of May – including a team of 59 CBS students, a huge pink mascot named “Flamingo-Ingoo” (who has an Instagram account of his own) plus many supporters and alumni who travelled with him to support the CBS team. Competitions in many different sports are the heart of the Royals Cup. The CBS team participated with teams – mostly mixed – in handball, volleyball, basketball, relay and football, and the mascots were also judged. The emphasis is not so much on winning, but on team spirit, fun and the exchange with hundreds of students from all over Europe.
And because the Royals Cup is a student initiative, there are a few expected and a few surprising characteristics. First: How do you efficiently accommodate around 700 participants? Of course with (future) friends, namely the Maastricht students. Second: The entertainment programme. In addition to a perfectly organised pub crawl, two theme parties took place; “Great Gatsby” in 1920s style, and Mexican-inspired themed “Dia de los Muertos”. The Maastrichters have a small home advantage when it comes to dressing up, because Maastricht is a veritable carnival stronghold where the carnival season, like in Cologne, also begins on 11 November. But the costume performance of the carnival experienced Cologne team was at least equal. Third: When business schools meet, is it also about business? Of course. The team from Maastricht had organised an accompanying career fair at which the sponsors introduced themselves (from consumer goods industry to management consultancy) and job interviews were conducted, for which one could apply in advance.
Being part of it is an honour
Taking part in the Royals Cup once is every year a big goal of hundreds of students at the CBS, but the places are, as at all big tournaments, strictly limited. That’s why the application procedure is so demanding: if you want to be an athlete, you have to apply with a letter of motivation and take part in an evaluation training course, divided by sports. Also the participation of the CBS at the Royals Cup is no automatism, every year an application video must be shot. This year’s star: the new mascot, Flamingo Ingoo. The trip to the Royal Cup was supported by the student parliament, which contributed new CBS jerseys, by the CBS, and by sponsors such as Red Bull recruited by the organising team around Julia Jostes and Evelyn Wagner themselves. The time required for the organisation team is substantial, the intense planning phase easily takes four months.