ISC brings recreational soccer to Grinnell


Evan Hein

Osel Tshering `25 (right) dribbles past Garikai Gijima `26 (left) during one of International Soccer Club’s scrimmages.

Ashley Baek, Staff Writer

If you ever find yourself walking past the Charles Benson Bear `39 Recreation and Athletic Center auxiliary gym, you might hear dull thuds of soccer balls hitting the walls and the squeak of sneakers coming from an International Soccer Club (ISC) scrimmage.

With a focus on recreational soccer, the members of the club play five-versus-five scrimmages at each of the group’s multiple weekly meetings. Teammates switch positions and players rotate in and out throughout each game, according to Hana Leonard `25, club co-president.

Jan Gloor `24 (right) defends against Osel Tshering `25 (left) at an International Soccer Club scrimmage. (Evan Hein)

“I came to Grinnell with the intent of playing some rec or low-stakes soccer,” said Leonard. Having played soccer since she was just five years old all the way through the varsity level in high school, Leonard said she loves the game. “I know that college is one of my last chances to probably play, so I’m so happy to continue playing here,” she said.

Daniel Cho `25, one of the club’s members, said, “I’ve loved playing soccer since I was younger in South Korea.” He said that playing the game helps in relieving his stress and making new friends who have a common interest.

“There’s a great moment when you score a goal after running around for a while — it’s one of my favorite memories with the club,” he added. 

The club started in around 2015 as a place for people who “aren’t quite ready to commit to a sports team and who want a low stakes, supportive environment to play,” said Leonard. 

At the end of each year, the club gathers together and the presidents create an award list to be given to each member — according to Leonard, this is one of the club’s fun traditions. She added that last year she got a “Tweety Bird” award because she whistles with her fingers in her mouth before each game.

Being able to exercise and play my sport is super exciting and fun.

— Osel Tshering `25

Leonard said her favorite memory of the club has been making lasting friendships in a supportive and fun environment. “I remember being this timid first-year [student],” she said. “Being able to exercise and play my sport is super exciting and fun.”

Osel Tshering `25, an ISC member from Bhutan, said that he was motivated to join the club through a general interest in soccer that he has had since he was young. 

“I thought this would be a good way for me to stay physically fit and make new friends,” Tshering said. “I really like spending time with people that I wouldn’t know outside of this club.” 

The ISC practices three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at 4:30 p.m. in the Charles Benson Bear `39 Recreation and Athletic Center auxiliary gym.