International House Darwin residents at Charles Darwin University have thrown down the gauntlet to their Sydney counterparts in a hotly contested virtual competition.
About 170 students have been taking part in the contest with International House Sydney, with competitions ranging from online gaming, to the best TikToks and photography. A final “International House has got talent” this Friday will be the tie breaker to determine which jurisdiction cements victory.
International House Darwin (IHD) resident engagement officer Aman Kathed said the virtual tournament began as a way to keep students connected during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Due to the onset of COVID-19, many of the activities and events we would normally hold for students had to be postponed or cancelled,” he said.
“The challenge was to establish an active virtual community that would connect students, be fun, engaging and give them some light-hearted relief from the overload of COVID-19 news and information.”
Mr Kathed said International House Sydney immediately got on board.
“It’s been a pretty even competition so far, with scores currently at a dead-set tie,” he said.
“The Sydneysiders have managed to end up on top for two of the online gaming competitions, but they had little to no chance when it came to the sunset photography contest.
“Nothing tops a Darwin sunset.”
IHD resident and CDU Master of Accounting student Nicole Silveira said the online competition had lifted the spirits of many students.
“Being in self-isolation has been pretty difficult,” Nicole said. “Many people have lost their jobs, so it’s been a tough time for all of us.
“Having something to look forward to every weekend has been fantastic. The online competition has allowed many of us to connect and get to know each other.”
Nicole said the support of the greater Darwin community, through initiatives such as the Kindness Shake and Foodbank parcels, had also brought welcome relief.
“Going through this in Darwin has been so nice. We’ve had many people checking we are okay and letting us know we are not alone.”