For the third year in a row Braeburn Primary School pupils have been crowned the IAPS chess champions.
This year's event saw an expanded format with not only the main champions shield to compete for, but a plate as well. This was introduced to provide an opportunity particularly for up and coming chess players to compete for a school award.
Pupils from The Banda, Hillcrest, Kenton and Peponi joined those from Braeburn in a celebration of chess. Some players had been playing for only a few months whilst others were veterans of a number of events. Whatever their experience, they all showed a superb attitude, chatting easily among each other between games, and participating in a lovely spirit. The games themselves were often intense and closely competed.
Individually our players achieved well, with Nhial taking bronze in the U9s, Bahir earning silver in the same age group, and Queen winning bronze in the U11s. However, it was as a team that our pupils excelled, gaining the plate as best of the second tier scorers and the overall championship shield as the team with highest total points of the first tier scores.
Well done team Braeburn!
The last two days of last term saw 24 students from Braeburn join more than 500 students from other schools to compete for honours and a coveted chance to qualify for the Global Round. More than half of the team was composed of Year 6 students who were some of the youngest scholars at the competition. Most of our scholars had a hectic time preparing for the competition as they had to cope with their school work, end of term tests and a host of other school activities including the production.
It was a nervous first day as they got registered at Brookhouse. The nerves were slightly eased as they sat through the opening ceremony, each received an alpaca and were asigned rooms for their first competition event, the Team Debate. Despite facing off with older scholars, some from Year 9, our students held their nerve and debated courageously, winning a number of debates in the 3 round event. They proceeded to complete the Scholars Challenge and Collaborative Writing with varying levels of success and were only too happy to see the day end although anxious for what awaited them next day.
The second day got off to a slow start as they all congregated in the Catholic University auditorium for the Scholars Bowl. Just as in the Scholars Challenge, they had to summon every bit of memory to answer the questions at the touch of a clicker. After a deserved lunch break the re-energised scholars were back in the auditorium for the Debate showcase. Njeri, calmly took her seat on the judges’ panel as the best speakers from the two day tourney traded points, barbs, and motions to decide which side would carry the day. This was followed by the Scholars Show in which Lileko brought the house down with her rendition of ‘Halleluiah’ while Prisha mesmerised everyone with her ability to speak extremely fast.
Our scholars, despite their limited experience of the program, performed very well when the final results were announced. There were exceptional performances both individually, with Njeri emerging as the best scholar from Braeburn while her team, along with Vedika and Sanjeevani also topped the school roll and secured an impressive overall position in the Junior Division. The icing on the cake was when all the 24 scholars earned their berths to the Global Round!
A big well done and congratulations to all our scholars Vedika, Sanjeevani, Njeri, Madhavi, Nizar, Sanghamitra, Prisha, Lileko, Niharika, Luke, Hansil, Izyan, Aneeka, Marlon, Najwa, John, Yanete, Erica, Pratham, Jiwon, Amelie, Anay, Mohammed and Izaack! See you all at The Hague.
FOUR TIMES CHAMPIONS IN FIVE YEARS
The Headline is staggering but true. This year Braeburn had a full strength side and were clear favourites to win, but an injury to our star shooter Kamba Mukanda led to some team difficulties. The group matches proved no problem, dismissing opposition with ease, but with several fingers injured and a shooting problem for Kamba, the team faced a few challenges against an energetic Hillcrest team. There was outstanding adaptation and Lurtanya Dias stepped into the starting line up and eased the pressure. The team adapted brilliantly as a whole and they eventually beat a well drilled Braeburn Garden Estate in the final. A special well done to the girls, who have proved themselves as the finest players and team on the KAIS circuit for a number of years.
On Wednesday the 24th of April a few of our cross-country runners, myself and Mr Owino woke up very early for morning flight to Eldoret. We had the incredible opportunity of visiting the town of Iten, also known as the 'Home of Champions', to do some high altitude training at 2400m above sea level.
At Iten we ran alongside and met some incredible athletes, as well as met a variety of passionate international runners who were there to be inspired and learn from the Kenyan runners and coaches in the area. We stayed in a training camp founded by Lornah Kiplagat, multiple world champion, and we were trained by our coach Ruben who encouraged, motivated and inspired us with his knowledge and training program. Often we were joined by children from the town who trained alongside us and raced our athletes for fun.
A training camp is not a luxury camp and the runners were up early every morning for their first run. Breakfast and some recovery time followed before we set out for some speed work. Speed training was done on a 400m track which has been set up in this humble town for all the athletes that visit, as well as those training within the town. Evenings were spent doing a recovery run. It was definitely not always 'fun' and many of our little runners had to persevere when legs were tired and they didn't think they could do any more. However, we arrived back at Nairobi in high spirits, excited to go back next year ... and with very stiff legs.
Gearing towards the Global World Scholars in The Hague, Netherlands Braeburn High school basked in the glory of winning with the BGR students’ names beaming across the giant screen, shouting to all and sundry of the school’s determination for a place in the global stage at the meeting of Nations, in Hague.
Watching the Braeburn Secondary School students taking to the stage, and walking away with over 60 medals chiming around their necks after they braved the sweltering heat was indeed a moment that defied description; Small steps taking a leap towards Global stewardship. For the WSC challenge, the students were divided into two categories - Junior and Senior. Years 5 to 12 students within the age group of 11-18 years participated in this event. The team of 10 scholars brought laurels to the school by winning assorted medals in individual and team awards.
The regional round for this competition comprised of four categories: Scholar's Challenge, Team Debate, Collaborative Writing and Scholar’s Bowl. Iida Kari 9 gold medals, 2 silver medals and a trophy Sree Sundararaman 6 gold and 3 silver medals and team trophy Ronak Raisingani 5 gold, 2 silver and team trophy Rowena De Guzman 5 gold, 1 silver and a team trophy Reanna Varsani 4 Gold and a team trophy.