RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — International Education Week is approaching and the University of Richmond got a head start on it with a gumboot throwing competition.

This year, the university is featuring New Zealand as the main focus for International Education Week. While the week doesn’t truly kick off until Monday, Nov. 14, some of the students and staff got a headstart on the festivities with a gumboot throwing competition.

A “gumboot” is the New Zealand name for a rain boot — and “gumboot throwing” is an obscure sport that is celebrated once a year in the town of Taihape in New Zealand’s South Island.

The rules of the game are similar to that of track and field throwing events such as shotput or hammer throw — try to toss the boot as far as possible.

The university chose New Zealand — or Aotearoa, in the native language, te reo Māori — as the country for this year’s International Education Week because it was one of the most securely closed places during the COVID-19 pandemic — and now, it is opening back up.

“The office of sustainability runs an eco-challenge so people can learn about earth-friendly practices in the place of study,” said Matha Merrit, the university’s Dean of International Education. “The Parson’s Music Library puts together a playlist and tells us about music and the location, so over the years a lot of the community has bought into this every year, and they enjoy learning about the place.”

The University of Richmond’s International Education Week will begin on Monday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 18. More information on the events can be found on the university’s website.