The 2019 edition of the World School Games looks set to break records as teams from across the globe clamour for the last few remaining spots.
Following the success of the inaugural 12-team u11 event in January 2018, an overwhelming number of applications for the 2019 event means that next year will see over 40 schools compete across two age categories, u11 and u13, in a bid to be crowned undisputed World Champions.
We know it’s still several months away, but we couldn’t resist taking a sneak peek at the runners and riders for both events and pondering who might be taking the silverware home next year…can you pick a winner?
Having stormed to victory in 2018, reigning U11 champions St Saviour's School Ikoyi will be in no mood to relinquish their title. However, with 23 teams snapping at their heels, including new boys The British School of the Netherlands and Greek powerhouse, St Catherine’s British School, their coaches will need to squeeze every ounce of strength, stamina, speed and willpower out of each and every one of their talented young athletes to ensure success once again on the biggest stage of all.
Other international teams to look out for include fan’s favourites, EIC Marbella, as well as new kids on the block, ACS Cobham from London. The hopes of Vladimir Putin’s Russia will rest on the broad shoulders of fellow newcomers, Brookes Moscow, who will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with. 2018 runners-up CIS Lagos will lead a strong Nigerian contingent looking to take the title away from SSI. Neighbours Grange, Lagos Prep and Greenspring Lagos will all be looking to do similar.
Spotlight on UAE Schools
As well as staging the events, the UAE will have more than just a passing interest in the World School Games. Jumeirah Primary School (3rd), Horizon English School (4th), and GEMS Wellington Silicon Oasis (5th) pushed SSI and CIS all the way in the 2018 U11 event, and all will be back in 2019, hungrier than ever to stand on top of the podium.
Joining the party for the first time are GEMS Metropole, Dubai International Academy, Horizon International School and also GEMS First Point, who will all compete in both the U11 and U13 events.
The hotly anticipated introduction of the U13 category opens the WSG doors to a raft of secondary school students from around the world. The opportunity to face-off against the best schools on the planet in the UAE's premium sporting facilities, Dubai Sports City and Hamdan Sports Complex, has understandably caused a bit of a stir.
Games organisers have not yet disclosed details of the teams participating in the U13 Games, but we do know from a reliable source that CIS Lagos, who came agonisingly close to clinching the 2018 U11 WSG title, will be there. Not the type to mess about, they’ll doubtless be going all out for gold this time round. However, we also know that reigning BSME and COBIS champions, British School Al Khubairat (BSAK), will also be in attendance, and we all know they’ll not be there to make up the numbers!
What we’re most excited about
The atmosphere created by the passionate fans who had travelled from far and wide to be at the 2018 event was absolutely electric. What we loved even more than that was the incredible sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship displayed by athletes, spectators and coaches alike, which made for a real feel-good vibe.
With the events being twice the size this time round, we can’t wait to feel that buzz in the grandstands again.
How to Watch the World School Games
As official Media Partner for The World School Games 2019, Gulf Youth Sport will be there to capture all the action, behind the scenes exclusive interviews, and everything in between from what promises to be the event of the year.
To stay up to date with the action, like and subscribe to our Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels, and check out the Gulf Youth Sport website to know more about what we do.
To find out more about The World School Games 2019, check out the official Games website.