Following part one of our whistle-stop tour around the schools representing Dubai in the World School Games, GYS hit the road again to visit three more local teams eagerly awaiting the start of this week’s tournament.
With swimming, football and athletics competitions taking place, there’s plenty for the students to sink their teeth into, and – as we discovered – they’re all confident they can top the standings and take home the title.
It’ll be a first taste of World School Games action for GEMS FirstPoint, and the students we spoke to are raring to get going.
Alfadhel, who comes from Iraq, said: “I’m very excited because it’s one of my first times in this school to compete in Games.”
Dutch student Sanne said: “I’m really excited and I hope I get introduced to new cultures.”
Both students revealed that the competitors at FirstPoint have been training hard for the events.
Alfadhel said: “Every Tuesday in the sports hall we do some drills to help us improve.”
Sanne added: “We train once a week and sometimes at home.”
And now they’re hopeful the hard work will pay off and they’ll be able to leave the tournament with something to show for their efforts:
“I would like to get a trophy,” said Alfadhel.
“I hope to make some new friends and maybe get a trophy.” echoed Sanne.
JESS ARABIAN RANCHES
It’ll also be a World School Games debut for the students of JESS Arabian Ranches, and when we spoke with them, they revealed they can’t wait to compete for their school against the world’s best.
Ava said: “I am very excited to represent my school.
“I think it’ll be really cool to see different people from different countries.”
Jake said: “I’m really excited to compete for my school at the World School Games.
“It feels pretty big because I’ve never really competed against schools from around the world.”
As with every team we’ve spoken to so far, there’s a real anticipation around Arabian Ranches that they can return to school next week with the crown:
“I think we’re all training hard and doing the best we can to take home the trophy,” said Ava.
“Every early morning and after school we have athletics,” said Jake. “I think we have a really strong team and a really good chance of winning.”
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY
The final stop on our tour took us to DIA, where we met with another group of students counting down the days until the competition starts.
Nina said: “I’m 10/10 excited.
“We’ve been training every single week and we’ve worked extremely hard to do this.”
Jasper said: “I’m very excited to be competing in the World School Games and I’m proud of myself.
“We have sessions every week where we train very hard and I think we’re ready for it.”
Whilst they’re hopeful they can go all the way in the tournament, both students understand what an opportunity they have to pick things up from their global competitors and become better athletes in the process.
Nina said: “It’s going to be very nerve wracking, but hopefully we can pick up some new strategies, and maybe make some new friends from all around the world.”
Jasper is thinking along similar lines: “I think it will be a very fun experience and we’ll learn a lot from it,” he said. “There might be schools that have different strategies and hopefully we can pick them up.”
We also had the opportunity to speak to Ann Alicia, a PE teacher at DIA, and she spoke very highly of the effort the pupils have been putting in and spoke of their desire to test themselves against schools from around the world:
“We’ve all been training really hard for the World School Games,” she said. “We’ve had swimming training, athletics training and football training twice a week going on here since before Christmas to get us all prepared.
The kids are really excited; it’s the first time we’ve competed in this event and it’s the first time we’ve competed against international schools.
So, as a primary PE department, we’re all super excited to see how DIA can cope at that level and the kids are really prepared and really excited about what they can bring to the event as well.”
The U11 World School Games take place from January 31st to February 2nd. The U13 tournament begins a month later, on the 28th February, and runs until the 2nd of March. Details on how to get involved in the U13 tournament can be found here.