U11s BSME Games in Abu Dhabi
The peak of the representative PE season began at The British International School of Abu Dhabi for the thirty-three students selected for St Christopher’s at the U11s BSME Games on Thursday 2 March 2017. After a rousing welcome from the hosting school’s pupils, St Chris got down to the serious business of highly competitive sports against eleven other teams.
Boys Football kicked off and the team initially struggled in their opening game to bring the pressing and passing that had earned recent success. Led by the industrious example of Salman Abuzahra, they picked up momentum for the next few games, playing some of the best football of the whole tournament to put them in contention for the semis. In the deciding final group, the team’s efforts weren’t quite good enough which left the boys going into the 7th-8th play-off and finishing their tournament in eighth place.
In Girls Netball, St Chris were faring much better. Very similarly to the football, the girls lost their first game but showed the boys how to storm back to maintain a charge for the semi-finals. A huge amount of grit and determination under some intense pressure left St Chris in second place in their group. Despite more of the same perseverance, the girls couldn’t get themselves into the final and had to settle for fourth place in their play-off. Day one over.
Friday was all about athletics with those players who had yet to represent St Chris raring to go and do their best for their team. The girls took to the track with resilient running and some close finishes, culminating in the relay team taking first place! In the field for the boys, Jake Kimber starred to earn first place in the High Jump. After the switch, the High Jump remained St Chris’ most successful event as Lucy Vaughan set a personal record and finished second. The boys again pushed hard in their track events and emulated the girls’ finishes with focus and concentration. Day two done.
The final day was a busy one as the swimmers dived into the demands of their early morning opening event with aplomb. A small squad of just eight swimmers performed above and beyond anything that could have been expected. They swam like the sharks they represent and gave St Chris a fantastic foundation from which to build on.
The girls’ footballers set an impressive tone for their competition straight away, fighting for and winning every ball, making it difficult for their opponents in every way. Putting in all this hard work made it easy for the girls to begin to play football, and the goals flowed as passing move after passing move tore defences to shreds. A semi-final place was well-earned but unfortunately the final was a step too far in a valiant defeat and the girls eventually finished in fourth place. However, a silver lining came as recognition by all the other teams with St Chris coming away with the Fair Play trophy.
The core of the Boys Basketball team was determined to use the memory of their football disappointment as an incentive and along with the basketball specialists performed brilliantly from the first tip-off. Jake Kimber and Darion Ali played very well as every team in the group fell to the St Chris drive which brought the boys to a semi-final place by finishing top of their pool. Moving forwards where other St Chris teams had faltered, the boys continued into the final and, with two early baskets deflating the opposition, walked away with a first place finish to complete a great day of competition for the whole squad. Day three complete.
Theories were floated, predictions made as the Gala Dinner concluded the weekend with St Chris confident of a top half finish overall and hopeful for a higher placing. Football, basketball and netball places were confirmed, athletics and swimming to be announced. The tension was building as the athletics placements were revealed and St Chris were delighted with third place. It got even better as the swimming order brought St Chris a tremendous second place. The room buzzed with excitement as the overall placements were announced and St Chris recognised for their third place finish – a truly fantastic achievement for all concerned.
Huge thanks must go to all involved – players, parents and especially all those teachers who have put so much time and effort into training and preparing this group of athletes. They were a credit to St Christopher’s both inside and outside of the BSME events and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and experience.
Boys Football: Ahmed Al A’ali, Cormac Mulleague, Cesar Vrijhof, Jacob Sum, Harry Doran, Jacob Phillpots, Salman Abuzahra, Salman Al Khalifa, Faisal Kanoo, Ridha Alnooh, Isa Al Khalifa.
Girls Netball: Alice Brandreth, Lilly Bull, Katelin Reed, Layla Al-Dahwi, Deena Al-Dahwi, Rosie Lewis, Haya Al-Nusuf, Lucy Vaughan, Imogen Rushton, Saffron Dennell.
Athletics: Isabel Looby, Adriana Lluch, Lilly Bull, Katelin Reed, Jude Eissa, Haya Al-Nusuf, Lucy Vaughan, Imogen Rushton, Talya AlHamar, Saffron Dennell, Cormac Mulleague, Jacob Sum, Jacob Phillpots, Harry Doran, Ridha Alnooh, Salman Al Khalifa, Darion Ali, Jake Kimber, Slade Camara, Ali Al Shehab.
Swimming: Alice Brandreth, Adriana Lluch, Lottie Gosling, Imogen Rushton, Jacob Sum, Harry Doran, Matthew Portelli, Slade Camara.
Girls Football: Rosie Lewis, Maryam Berri, Alice Brandreth, Isabel Looby, Haya Al-Nusuf, Lucy Vaughan, Katelin Reed, Imogen Rushton, Yasmeen Al Arrayed, Talya AlHamar.
Boys Basketball: Darion Ali, Jake Kimber, Ahmed Al A’ali, Faisal Kanoo, Jacob Phillpots, Cormac Mulleague, Salman Abuzahra, Slade Camara, Harry Doran, Cesar Vrijhof.