The Groton-St. Paul's Challenge Cup, created to celebrate two schools’ unique friendship through athletics and their mutual dedication to service, has a new name.
The Cup, established during the 2016–17 school year, will now be known as the Kim Cup. The donors behind the Cup, Michael B. Kim and Kyung Ah Park, are parents to graduates from both schools. Shane Kim '19 was a standout baseball pitcher for the Groton Zebras; the Kims asked that the Cup be known as the Groton-St. Paul's Challenge Cup until after Shane's graduation. Their son Michael graduated from St. Paul’s in 2012.
It’s unusual for a gift to benefit two schools at once. “It’s an expression of gratitude to these two great schools for educating my sons,” said Mr. Kim. “They are unique in their approach, but the commonalities, the ties, are their commitment to excellence.”
The Cup is awarded to the school winning the majority of athletic contests during the academic year. Groton and St. Paul's have each won the Cup once, and the two schools tied last year.
True to both schools’ missions, funds from the Kim Cup benefit charitable organizations: regardless of wins, Groton and St. Paul’s alternate years distributing the funds to nonprofits selected by student groups.
"Service is one of the most universally recognizable forms of leadership," said Groton Headmaster Temba Maqubela. "The Kim Cup was inspired by this ideal.
"... There are few better examples of the manifestation of the Groton pillars of scholarship, service, spirituality, and globalism than the last disbursement of proceeds from the endowment generously donated by the Kims," he added. "The first recipients, chosen by Groton Community Engagement, were a refugee center, a homeless shelter, a center for the aged, and a soup kitchen."
In 2018, Groton presented the Kim funds to four organizations where students often volunteer: Our Father’s House, a men's shelter in Fitchburg, MA; Loaves And Fishes, a food pantry in Devens; the Groton Council on Aging; and the Syrian Refugee Center of New England. This year, Groton School plans to donate the Kim Cup funds to Imagine Scholar and the LEAP Schools network, South Africa–based organizations where Groton students worked during a Groton Global Education Opportunity (GEO) last summer.
Similarly motivated by service, St. Paul's School, during 2017 and 2019, donated Kim funds to the Boys and Girls Club of Central NH and the Salvation Army.
Groton and St. Paul's have a five-decade history of athletic competition; the Kim Cup helped preserve the rivalry after St. Paul’s withdrew from the Independent School League (ISL). The 2019–20 Kim Cup competition begins Saturday, September 14, when Groton’s field hockey, football, and soccer teams face St. Paul’s. With service at its heart, the Kim Cup games are a win-win, regardless of the outcome.