Bassam Adada is a member of the AUB Football Varsity team, a mechanical engineering undergrad, and our athlete of the week.
First up – when did you start playing football?
I started playing when I was still in school. It was my passion and I’ve always enjoyed playing, but it was never serious during school. I joined Al Ansar’s academy in 2008, it was the first academy I joined and the training sessions were well organised. My colleagues and my coach were very helpful and played a big part in my improvement.
Do you enjoy playing for the AUB Varsity team more than your previous team?
I prefer playing for AUB for different reasons. First, training with my previous team was very far from campus and the transportation was difficult due to late classes. Second, football is a big part of the AUB community and is important for students. AUB hosts events for our team such as the big game. We also become part of a family where my teammates are my siblings. This was not the case at my previous team where I didn’t know many people.
How involved is the administration with your team and how have they made an influence?
The team is disappointed in the administration for a number of reasons. For example, we have been asking them to provide us with new balls for training for over a year. The field hadn’t been renovated for around 10 years before its recent renovation. We feel completely neglected. It has an influence on our team by demotivating our players. We were promised a trip to Paris where we would have the chance to represent our university at an elite European tournament. Instead, we are going to be traveling to Dubai. Another reason for our demotivation is the scholarships that were promised but were not distributed. They give out one scholarship a year of 17 percent, and I was lucky enough to be awarded this scholarship. But it’s a small amount compared to our competitor universities such as the Lebanese American University, where every Varsity team player is awarded a scholarship with a higher percentage depending on their performance.
Do you think AUB Varsity could give you the push for a professional career?
Definitely not. If I were to make a professional career out of football, I would have continued with my previous team Al Ansar. They are a professional Lebanese football team. At AUB, it’s more of a hobby than a chance at a professional career.