Well Done St Chris!
After three weeks of trials and six weeks of training, twenty-four of St Christopher’s finest U15 athletes set off for the U15 BSME games in Abu Dhabi, which were superbly organised by the British International School of Al Khubairat and hosted at the fantastic New York University of Abu Dhabi. The students were looking forward to a very intense three days of competition against thirteen other schools from the region. Day one began with the boys taking part in Volleyball. Thanks to input from our new coach Dave, the boys were keen and raring to go. Unfortunately, nerves hampered us a little in our early matches, but the boys played really well under pressure and won their first five matches. We then faced the British International School of Jeddah, and despite playing some of our best volleyball we lost our one and only pool match. Unfortunately, due to the scoring system this placed us in third position in our pool. Despite this setback the boys rallied well to win their two playoff games to come 5th overall. The girls began with Football. They too started very brightly, winning their first three matches. The goals were flowing and morale was high. Unfortunately, after a superb defensive challenge, early on in our 3rd game, Nayfah injured her ankle and could take no further part in the games. This dented the team’s confidence as she had been playing so well. Still, the girls rallied well and finished top of their pool. The semi-final saw us losing against the British School of Cairo, the eventual winners, and we narrowly lost on penalties in the 3rd/4th play-off ending the day in fourth place, gaining valuable points for team St Christopher’s.
Day two was set aside for Athletics. The heats and field events were held during the heat of the day. Then, after a three hour rest, the athletes returned to the now floodlit stadium for all the track finals. The standard of competition was excellent and our students performed outstandingly well. Gold medals flowed freely, with Ahmed winning the 100m and 200m. Louis won the 800m and our boys won both the 4 x 100m and 4 x 200m relays! In addition, Sulaf won the 400m and medalled in the High Jump. The girls also picked up a medal in the 4 x 200m relay, and Imaan won a Bronze in the Long Jump. Not to be outdone, Colby won the Shot Put and Javelin by wide margins, and Hamza earned a tight victory in the Triple Jump. Our athletes were truly outstanding and we tied for first place in the overall Athletics competition. Memories that will last for ever were made on that evening.
Day three began with some very, very tired athletes. After being outside for the first two days it was lovely to be playing inside but tragedy struck in the Netball warm up with Amna injuring her finger, meaning she was unable to participate in any of the games during the day. Those still left standing played valiantly and inflicted some defeats on notable opposition. The girls played with such determination and a great team effort saw them finish a very creditable 3rd in their pool. Unfortunately, we lost our next match but the team rallied superbly in the play-off for 7th/8th position and a comfortable victory saw us finish in 7th place.
The boys warming up for football looked drained of energy. However, they soon lifted themselves when the first match began, a comfortable 2-0 victory. The pool matches, though tight went well, until one tiny error against BISAK, gave them a 1-0 victory. Disappointed, but not broken, the boys won their final two games, to finish top of their pool. This set them up for a semi-final against the British International School of Abu Dhabi. After a great game, it was 0-0 after full and extra time. So on to the dreaded penalty shoot out! Our first six penalties were dispatched expertly, but so were theirs. Our seventh penalty was hit powerfully and accurately but this time, their keeper was up to the challenge and saved it. We were knocked out and bitterly disappointed. It is in times such as these characters are forged and the boys duly responded. Rising up from despair the team picked themselves up for one more match and won comfortably, to place third overall.
It was a truly memorable weekend and we were delighted to finish second overall.