Math whizzes have fun at Japan boot camp

JC Roux and Jazlyn Ngwenya with their trophies. Photo: Adéle Bloem.

 

Three math geniuses from Abacus Maths in Horison recently attended the annual boot camp in Japan, and did very well.

According to Sharné Bressler, one of the instructors, it is always an amazing experience for the learners, even though they work very hard during their stay. “Six countries – including South Africa – participate in the boot camp, with learners from three different South African schools making up the SA team. The children compete against each other while learning new skills,” she explained.

Omphile Maeko, 12, competed in both the Anzan (Level 5) and Soroban (Level 6) categories. She managed to upgrade two levels during the bootcamp.

The 13-year-old JC Roux, who attended the boot camp for the second time, said he had a blast. “I enjoyed it more this year, because I knew what to expect and was more prepared. I was also more prepared for the physical exhaustion, which I countered by increasing my sleeping hours as well as exercise hours before leaving for Japan. I could definitely enjoy the whole experience more,” he said.

JC managed to move up to Level 2 in the Anzan category and Level 3 in the Soroban category during the boot camp. He also did very well in the regional championships, where he was crowned as the champion in the Level 5 category and won a third place in the senior dictation.

He also heard that he was a role model to one of the younger students, and when he was asked to describe how it felts, he said, “I was speechless and surprised when I heard that I am Arno’s rolemodel, but I must admit that that it makes me very happy to know that I have inspired someone to so something more in life.”

Jazlyn Ngwenya, 13, experienced Japan for the first time, and had the following to say, “I found that the people were very friendly and helpful, and it was very clean! I think I did well in what I knew I could do, but, I was not sufficiently prepared for the whole experience. I went up to Anzan Level 3 and Soroban Level 4.”

She also did very well during the regional championships, where she was the Top Achiever in the Level 5 category and won a first place in the senior dictation.

Both these learners qualified to participate in the Global Association of Japanese Soroban Mental Arithmetic (GAJSMA) championships that will be taking place later this year in South Africa.

Sharné concluded by saying, “We only want our students to be the best they can be, and to have the self-confidence to do maths, as it is the foundation for everything in life”.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

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  AUTHOR
Adéle Bloem
Journalist

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