On Friday May 19th 2017, King’s College Murcia made their debut in the COBIS Secondary Games. This highly prestigious event, attended by 28 international schools across the world, was held in Sheffield in the UK. After months of preparation, the 14 students (7 boys and 7 girls) students arrived the day before to settle into the hotel and begin their four day experience as pro-athletes at an international event.
The first event was swimming at the Olympic standard ‘Ponds Ford International Centre’. As the team entered the venue it was evident how big the event was and there were a lot of nerves. Once the opening ceremony was completed, we were straight into action with the individual medley. Immediate successes in the pool soon put the students nerves at ease and it was clear that Murcia had come to compete! Notable successes in the morning session included Brodie S 3rd in her Medley heat, Pablo P and Eugenia S winning their Freestyle heats, and Marta C winning her breaststroke heat. The support from back home was incredible with the school showing the livestream in lessons, making the students feel very special. Mr Green especially was constantly sending messages of encouragement!
Once the results from the morning sessions were in, King’s College Murcia had qualified for 3 finals: Pablo P for the 50m freestyle, the girls medley relay team, and the boys freestyle relay team! Pablo came 5th in his final, narrowly missing out on the medals and the relay teams came 6th and 7th respectively each earning extra points. After a successful day in the pool, this put Murcia 14th out of 28 which was a strong start.
The second day saw the team venture onto the athletics track. Although the day started sunny, rain was predicted and this came true with the heavens opening later. This did nothing to dampen the spirits of team Murcia, as each student competed well. Marta C ran hard in the 1500m with Pablo P and Alberto E finishing 3rd in the same event. Theo R finished 2nd in his 400m heat and Paula M 3rd in the 200m. The field events went well with highlights including a 6th place for Adrian R. The relays teams were strong once again and Murcia held on to their 14th position at the end of the day.
The final day saw the football event, the big one which they were all excited about. Very early on, Murcia built up a reputation as the team no-one wanted to play due to their flowing football. The boys started off the group stages with strong wins against Athens, Gran Caneria, Bucherest and an outstanding 5-0 victory over La Moraleja. The girls team faced the same opposition winning each game with the exception of a 0-0 draw against a strong La Moraleja side. After games against the Netherlands and Bahrain, both teams found themselves in the quarter finals. The boys team faced an undefeated KC Alicante side who were yet to concede a goal. The boys were unlucky to lose 2-1 and Alicante went onto win the event, the only goal they conceded being against Murcia. The girls team beat Athens in the quarterfinals for a place in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, they narrowly lost on penalties but triumphantly beat Bahrain in the 3rd place play off to take the bronze medal. This result put Murcia 3rd overall in the football and pushed us up to 11th in the overall standings. Both football teams received praise from many other schools, with David M and Grace F standing out as being 2 of the best players at the tournament.
For Murcia to finish 11th out of 28 on their debut was an outstanding achievement and the young athletes celebrated with an ice cream in Sheffield afterwards. Thank you very much to our sponsors for all of the kit and for the support from back home. The students are very proud of what they have achieved.
Squad: Marta C, Grace F, Paula M, Vera M, Brodie S, Kaitlyn C, Eugenia S, David M, Theo R, Alberto E, Pepe R, Adrian R, Gonzalo M, Pablo P