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Sportalian

A caricature of the typical Sportalian.


'Sportalians' (also less popularly known as 'Spitalians', 'Spermtalians', etc.) are the European students who stay in DCU in during the Summer for MRLI and ISV courses, leading to (often unwanted) interaction with CTYI students. The Sportalians are known among CTYI students for loud behaviour, smoking, and wearing sunglasses indoors. They are widely resented for having better breakfasts (particularly croissants).

They were considered by the BBC in 2011 as subjects for a David Attenborough nature documentary, only for them to lose out to Polar Bears, which were considered to be"higher, more intelligent animals"

Name and variations

The name Sportalian is derived from their mysterious country of origin, Sportalia. It is difficult for students to know the range of nationalities among the Sportalians, and the belief (usually mostly correct) that they are Spainish ("Sp"), Portuguese ("port") and Italian ("talian") leads to the catchy name. It should be noted, however, that there are other nationalities mixed in with this (for example, after speaking to Sportalians it was found that there were some Greek students).

"Spermtalians" - During CTYI Session 1 '07 the year's batch of Sportalians were discovered to include German students, leading to the name Spermtalians. This led to an extraordinary amount of giggling. Many thought Sportalians couldn't get worse; they were wrong.

Spitalians is another variation, although it is unknown what time this originates from, it is possible that it is from a session when there were no Portuguese students, thus demanding a new name with suitably crude connotations.

The R.A.s' official stance is that Sportalians are European Students, although some will laugh at Sportalian jokes.

Language and Culture

All Sportalians appear to be fluent in at least two languages: their native Sportalian tongue and sleazy chat-up lines. Although little is known about how they acquired this irritating knowledge of broken English, one assumes it comes from watching lots and lots of bad movies.

As stated above, Sportalians spend most of their time drinking, smoking, making noise and hanging around looking greasy. They tend to wear expensive designer clothes and sunglasses, and bright yellow or orange backpacks (In 2008, they were a headache-inducing luminous green). They have been spotted walking in groups of five or six wearing near-identical outfits.When they go for a trip into town, they generally come back wearing oversized leprechaun hats and the like.

They have recently been spotted exhibiting a behavior similar to that of a sheep. A "shepherd" uses a pink pole with a circle on the end in order to lead confused Sportalians to locations of little importance where they cannot be seen.

They get better food than us in the canteen (croissants for breakfast!) and get the legendary Hub for their discos (as opposed to our canteen).

Notable Events

CTYI '06

Session 1


  • In the canteen, Yutaka Kumagi accepted a bribe (€2) to hug a Sportalian. Instead of walking up and asking one, like we imagined, he just pounced on a huge, 6ft Italian boy, who quickly pushed him off and shouted in fractured English: "Do that again, and I'll breaka your ankles!". Charming.

  • Italy won the world cup during this session, and this, with Sportalians on campus, caused a small problem. The Italian Sportalians ran about the campus, and are reported to have flashed students. They also stepped up the volume for that night (impressive, considering how loud they usually are), making sleeping even more difficult for CTYI students.

CTYI '08

Session 1


  • As three girls made their way to the first disco in full costume (Eimear Clarkin as Captain Wexford; Eimear Maguire as Morrigan, the Cletic war Goddess; and Ruth Ní Chumhaill Maguire as a Dublin girl, in a very pretty blue dress) they jokingly gave a war cry, which was echoed by a bunch of Sportalians hanging out a nearby window. The girls hurried along, but were immediately wolf-whistled and shouted at:"You are very beautiful girls!" to which Eimear Maguire shouted back, "LIKE YOUR MOTHER!"

  • Not only were they clearly defeated, but another group of Sportalians walking the other way began to point and laugh while the girls escaped to the disco. Ownage.

Session 2


  • Three nights into Session Two, the Sportalians discovered tin whistles and harmonicas and played the the same, short tune constantly throughout the night outside the Larkfield residences, much to the annoyance of the students (especially those who were on the ground floor of House 6).

  • During a Fire Drill in the second week, Firetree (Andy) managed to get two Sportalians to pose in a photograph with him. They were considerably shorter than him.

  • In the Talent Show, 'The Yo-Malleys' (Liz and Joanna O'Malley) performed a song which they'd written in which they complain about the canteen food and Sportalians (specifically that they "Sleep all day and drink all night" and that "You Sportalians are not all right")

CTYI '09

Session 2


  • On lunch in week 2 of the second session in 09 a group of greasy Sportalians (complete with sun glasses and sports bags) assaulted and traumatised a gothic studies student, Shauna Caffrey, with cameras. Said student was forced into being photographed with two of the individuals,because of her rather strange and "out there" appearance and was severely traumatised and is suffering from overexposure to Sportalianism.

  • At dinner time in the second week a group of Sportalians sprouted conversation with Pirate Deco and two other computer apps students, they queried the location of the nearest Head Shop, they had to explain to them the origin of the term "Sportalians", while the Sportalians refered to us as "The weird Irish".

  • Pirate Deco was constantly harrassed by the Sportalians throughout the course, the most common query was regarding the reason for the pirate costume, but also the explaination of bathrobe Thursday. Also several of whom asked at one point throughout the course for a photograph with the pirate.

  • A certain CTYI student by the name of "Irish Emma" scored a Sportalian during Session II 2009. Somehow, the world did not end at this moment. This Emma lured the Sportalians to her by using about the only word of Sportalian she knew: "Chicos". Her RA got annoyed because, apart from the shame of calling her a member of their group, she also completely ruined their chances in the Points Game. Action was taken after this incident, namely the banning of Emma from the disco. It should be noted that she perhaps committed an even more shocking crime, namely, insulting Haggis' accent.

CTYI '16

Session 1

  • The Social Psych. class was in the computer rooms, when a group of typical greasy, yet not unattractive, male Sportalians came running past the windows, yelling and taking their shirts off. The majority of the class watched in horror, and Billy Martin offered "There are loads of sexy men outside if anyone wants to take one". We didn't feel the need to take one.

How To Deal With Sportalians

  1. If you spot a Sportalian stay at a 5m distance at all times. Don't approach one unless you [mean to cause them harm] absolutely need to.

  2. Please do not feed the Sportalians. They are on a special canteen diet (that's better than ours).

  3. If a group of Sportalians approach you and start to harass you. Use complicated words in your next sentence and then tell them to spell one of them. Whilst they are still trying to figure out what you have just said run back to the quad. Also, shouting words such as "piano", "compleano", "pasta" and "paella" until they stop looking at you occasionally works. Feel the situation out.

  4. If a small group of Sportalians are looking at you,saying something in their strange undefined language and then laughing whilst pointing at you. Start talking to your friends in whatever Irish you know. e.g. "Tá cáca milse sa speir" or "Sicín oráiste is ainm dom" and then laugh just as obnoxiously.

  5. If a group of Sportalians is making noise outside your window. Simply fill a glass or bottle with cold water and pour it on them. Then hop back into bed before they see you. NOTE: Please don't try this if you're on the ground floor.

  6. When they are walking by you may wish to say things like, "Yeah I was talking to you" or "I don't respect you". Just remember they're people too.

  7. Sportalians have no souls. So don't get all "your mother" on them because when they grow up they eat their mothers so that will only make them hungry.

  8. If you are talking about a Sportalian behind his/her back and "it" turns around. Be sure to run in to the quad on an imaginary horse shouting, "The Sportalians are learning, the Sportalians are learning," and when you have peoples attention, drop to your knees and say in a weak voice. "One day they will become... will become... fluent" and then drop dead. (final step is optional but very dramatic)

  9. If they are looking at you, look at them back, then insult in long words or use random Mediterranean words as in item 3, but be sure to smile all the time. They will be confused.

  10. If they ask for a picture, what they really mean is "I'd like to steal your soul". It will usually be done when you are a bathrobe. Be wary. Don't smile, they suck your soul out your mouth. But not in the cool, Dementor way. Indeed, it is thought that rather than tobacco, what you see when they smoke is the souls of past students.

It must be recognised that while all this is being said in good fun, being openly racist towards a group of people is actually wrong.

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