FANTASTIC FEATS AT UK SCHOOLS MEMORY CHAMPIONSHIPS
EVA BALL (15) of Bablake School, Coventry takes Gold – defeating all comers, to become the 2009 UK Schools Memory Champion.
Approaching 1,700 pupils at more than 60 schools from England, Scotland and Wales battled it out for one of the 100 places at the Championship Finals, held in Northampton on Tuesday 7th July.
Joining Eva on the podium was Silver Medallist Amandeep Chumber (13) from Sandwell Academy, West Bromwich and the Bronze winner was Joe Sidebotham (14) from the Blue Coat School, also in Coventry.
Over the past twelve months, eight times World Memory Champion Dominic O'Brien, a renowned figure in the world of Mind Sports - who devised the original concept of the UK Schools Memory Championship - has been spearheading training sessions in Memory techniques for school and college groups throughout the UK. After the visits, in-school competitions then identified the most talented participants, with the top 100 students invited to take part in the National Final.
The company behind this initiative is Inspire Education run by Neil Denley, director, and his brother Stewart. Based in Ascot, their team of high quality presenters has been running the memory training courses around the UK. Participating schools receive a Brain Club resource pack, which aids the students in setting up a club to promote memory development and brain training in general. After a period of training, in-school competitions take place across the UK.
James Paterson, the current Welsh Memory Champion is press officer for the Championship. All three are available for interview. Please click the following link for more information:
The competitions themselves are led by Phil Chambers, Chief Arbiter of the World Memory Sports Council, with participants applying their newly-acquired memorisation techniques to five different categories: random words, random numbers, fictional events and dates, binary digits and the memorisation of a shuffled deck of cards. These five memory disciplines have been chosen to closely correspond to the World Memory Championships whilst being easily transferable to the learning of school subjects.
Philip Burch - County Manager, Aimhigher Northamptonshire
'The UK Schools Memory Championship has given these young people an unrivalled opportunity to extend their repertoire of skills. These can be used to help them remember the key pieces of information, knowledge and understanding required for success.'
Eva’s overall score in the competition was 900. She was able to recall a sequence of 94 numbers after fifteen minutes of memorisation, 137 random words and 102 binary numbers memorised in just five minutes.
Amandeep came a close second, with a score of 785 (54 numbers, 140 words, 7 events/dates, 80 binary numbers and 23 cards), while Joe’s score was 778 (70 numbers, 155 words, 5 events/ dates, 15 binary numbers and 22 cards)
Making up the remainder of the Top Ten were the following high flyers:
Hannah Bell Ellowes Hall College, Lower Gornal (W. Midlands) 714
Thomas Lynch Matthew Arnold School, Staines (Middx) 701
Becki Jones Sponne College, Towcester (Northants) 701
Ellen Painter Roade School, Northampton 700
Craig Nunn Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh 690 The First Scottish Schools Memory Champion
Anisha Lad Caludon Castle School, Coventry 680
David Luck Huxlowe Science College, Irthlingborough (Northants) 680
“The competition is a great way to embed memory techniques into education and to develop life-long learning skills, which are transferable across the curriculum and throughout life” says Neil Denley, Director of Inspire Education, who, with his brother Stewart also co-founded the UK Schools Memory Championship – alongside Tony Buzan, co-founder of the long-established World Memory Championship.
“We constantly receive excellent feedback from schools, saying that the students’ new memory skills have already had a positive effect on examination preparation and attainment levels – these techniques are then effortlessly applied to their ongoing studies in general” adds Neil. “Recent research has shown that training the memory leads to a direct increase in problem-solving ability, otherwise known as fluid intelligence. As well as the realisation that they have acquired a powerful set of skills, this gives the teenagers motivation, and the self confidence to try memorising virtually anything.”
“We have been really impressed by the memory skills of these youngsters, it was an absolutely amazing competition, really fiercely fought,” says Dominic O’Brien. “Everyone stayed incredibly focused and produced some brilliant scores. Adult Memory champions around the world had better watch out – there are some really talented people out there, entirely capable of competing in the national and international Memory arenas, as time goes by!”
For more information, or to register your school for next year’s Championship, visit www.schoolsmemorychampionships.com
About Aimhigher and Gifted & Talented
The UK Schools Memory Championships are sponsored by national government initiatives Aimhigher and, in some areas, Gifted & Talented.
The Aimhigher programme, designed to encourage students into higher educatioin, is run by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), with support from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).
Gifted & Talented ensures gifted and talented students have access to the right personalised support to fulfil their true potential; stretching and challenging these students both in and out of the classroom.
AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW
All ten top contestants (and especially Eva, Amandeep and Joe) can be contacted through their schools.
To arrange for an interview or to speak to Dominic O'Brien or Phil Chambers please contact Ms Ray Hodges on 01628 894793 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Buzan, originator and joint founder of the World Memory Championships and the inventor of Mind Maps, is also available for interview by contacting Ray on the above number or email.
The book is now available and can be obtained from the World Memory or the Buzan websites price £15 (USD $30) plus post and packing within the UK of £2.