Last week Iman, Jack, Ayden and myself together with the JIS Fobisia team (Federation of British International Schools in Asia) travelled to Beijing. The games was hosted by the Dulwich school of Beijing. Our JIS team consisted of 36 students, 6 boys and 6 girls in years 4, 5 and 6 and the three day competition like all the other Fobisia games involved TBall, althetics, swimming and football.
There were 7 schools in the competition altogether. The other schools were
Dulwich College Beijing (hosts)
Dulwich College Shanghai
British International School Shanghai
British School Manila
British International School Vietnam
Fobisia groupings are based on the student sizes of the school and only this year JIS was moved up to the top group. We knew that all these large international schools would provide some very strong competition so it was going to be a tough three days.
The first day was a free day and the children together with the coaches went on a tour of the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium. Iman and Jack had been looking forward to this and they were completely in awe of it. And they got to go to the stadium shop to spend some of their pocket money on souvenirs and as expected we now have two mascots from the Beijing Olympics!
First day of the competition and the JIS supporters wore our maroon tshirts designed by Doris. This was the Tball day. The mixed team of each year group played each other school therefore 6 matches for each team.
This was the Year 6 team. The girls are all Iman's close friends - Natasha, Abigail and Eleanor she has been with since Year 1. And of the boys, Weng since Kindy and Thomas and Aizat since Year 1.
And this is Jack's Year 4 team of which 5 he has known since Kindy - Jemima, Alexander, Theo, Oliver and Freddie (who actually moved away after Kindy and came back last year).
Jack taking a big hit
And Iman too
My camera was hijacked my Ayden but he didn't do a bad job with the pictures he took
Pep talk by Mr. Conway and Mrs. McGeorge (who is a previous UK Olympian!)
The second day was athletics in the morning and swimming in the afternoon.
Both Iman and Jack won an individual medal each for 50m breaststroke - Iman a silver and Jack a bronze. And they also both won two silvers with their relay teams - 50m medley and 50m free. So proud of them winning these team medals. JIS was not the strongest team in the whole of the games but to be a presence in any team event made us as a group of parents very proud! And believe me there was more parent competition on the sidelines than the competition itself on the field!!!
A proud though very tired moment for Mum. One wonders how they did the athletics in the morning amidst the Beijing pollution and swam in the afternoon.
Third and last day was the football which was divided into years' boys and girls. Jack has played with this team in Brunei all year but this was their first "international".
And Iman was with her usual team in between the Downey girls who she has played alongside side since they were 6 years old and they made a formidable team together with Chloe, Natasha and Syifa in defence. The girls did really well but they unfortunately lost in their last match and were edged out of a medal.
Jack was on form and worked well with his team. In one match Jack scored a hat trick (which I unfortunately missed as I was with Iman's team). The boys were faced with very tough competition too and did well to secure a third place spot. Do not underestimate the boys from the JUNGLE was the message we were giving that day! So proud of our boys!
It's lovely to see the girls bonding friendships with their opponents.
By the last couple of matches they were all hugging!
It was an amazing three days watching our kids compete on this level. On many counts it was not the competition on the field itself. It was watching their self confidence and how they appreciated being part of a major competition, with it's highs and lows. As for the parents, it was a real learning curve - whether winning or loosing - our kids competed at a level they haven't before but we were all proud of their achievements. This for both Iman and Jack will be their last major competition for JIS and they will in September move on in their sporting careers with a new school. Thank you JIS - we loved the experience!