On Thursday May the 17th, King’s College Murcia sent a team of 16 young students from Years 7 and 8 to the COBIS Games in Sheffield, UK. I think it is fair to say that these athletes have returned as heroes.
The COBIS Games themselves were attended by 23 schools from Asia, Africa and Europe and the standard of athleticism was exceptional.
The first day was the swimming event, held at Ponds Forge International Centre which is the home of many Team GB athletes. After the opening ceremony, the nerves were beginning to take hold as the scale of the event hit home. However, the Murcia team showed their exceptional attitude right from the start by proving that hard work gets what it deserves. There were some excellent performances including top 20 (out of 50 athletes) finishes by many of our athletes. However, the highlight of the day was Brodie S. Not only did she secure 6th position in the 200m individual medley, but she qualified as the fastest finalist for the 50m freestyle. Despite some nerves, she put in a powerful and mature performance to secure Murcia´s first ever gold medal, much to the delight of her peers watching at the school. After the first day, Murcia were in 15th position overall and the team were keen to climb up the ladder.
The second day was athletics, a strong day for the Murcia team who traditionally perform well in throwing events. The day started strong once again, with many top 20 finishes as well as some real standout performances. Alejandro C. coming 11th in the 800m, Tamara M. 15th in the high jump, matched by Maya H. in the discus. Brodie S. had another strong day with an 8th in the shot put, and Jason D. got an outstanding 6th in the discus. Michael R. really stood out for Murcia during this event. After coming 9th in the 100m, missing out on the final by 0.03 seconds, he went to the Javelin. After a brief warm-up, he launched the Javelin over 30m and picked up the gold medal. This was very well deserved after the amount of practice he has put in. After a good day, Murcia climbed up to 13th in the overall standings, but there was much more to come.
Day 3, the final day, was the football event at the excellent St George’s Park Graves facility. Often the favourite day of many of the students, Murcia were keen to climb the overall table. In the group stages, the girls team lost one match finishing top of the table. Grace F. and Kaitlyn C. were outstanding throughout. The boys lost one game, drew one and won the rest finishing second in their group. Santiago M. was excellent in goal, even scoring! Jason D. also played very well. In the quarter finals, it is fair to say that both teams had found their flow. The girls comfortably won,and the boys beat the favourites from Abu Dhabi on penalties (despite some nerves. Charlie R. scored an exceptional free kick, and really was outstanding in his new role at the back).
The semi-finals unfortunately brought heart break to our girls, as they lost on penalties despite playing so well throughout. This put them into the third place play-off where again they were so unlucky to lose on penalties. They showed great character to battle on after this, and real maturity in their performances and conduct, where they should be commended. They finished 4th overall which meant good points for our overall standings.
The boys put in the performance of the day in the semi-finals against Corona school from Africa. Coming up against the tournament’s top goal-scorer, Murcia were the first and only team to keep a clean sheet against them. Charlie R. and Santiago M. once again forming an impenetrable defence. Michael R. scored the goal that put Murcia into the final.
We faced our sister school Soto from Madrid in the final and they were excellent. Despite a brave performance, Murcia lost but picked up the consolation of the silver medal. As a PE department and school, we were so very proud of what they achieved. Both the girls and boys teams picked up many compliments from coaches and teachers from other schools. Grace F. was often identified as the player of the tournament.
Due to the heroics in the football, Murcia were actually joint winners of the whole football event which of course gave us valuable championship points. This magnificent effort moved us to 8th overall in the table, a fantastic achievement showing how much we as a school have progressed.
The 16 young athletes who went to the COBIS Games deserve a lot of credit. They carried themselves with maturity and gave their all in every situation. We made many friends along our journey, and picked up many plaudits. It was an absolute pleasure to be involved with such an inspiring group of young people. We can all learn from their attitude and work ethic.