Although this was their first appearance at the World School Games, the Under 13 team of Grange School Lagos has been crowned overall winners with a total of 53.5 points. It beat the closest competing school by a whopping 9.5 points. Altogether the Grange School team won 5 gold medals, 4 silver medals, and 5 bronze medals.
But the big record set by the 62-year-old school was in the triple jump event in which its representative, Ore Alabi, captured the gold medal with a distance of 10.33m. The silver medal also went to Grange School through Tobi Alonge, who covered a distance of 9.89m. Both Alabi and Alonge obliterated the old record of 9.48m.
Apart from their groundbreaking leap in the triple jump, Grange School also came first overall in athletics, first overall in swimming, and second overall in football.
While presenting the championship-winning team to staff, students, and parents of Grange, Head of School, Abra Stoakley, acknowledged the impressive accomplishments of her students. “These impressive young men and women behind me,” she noted, “members of the Under 13 team that we have sent to the World School games, have exceeded all expectations.”
The special reception staged in the school’s large hall in GRA, Ikeja featured music, exhortations, and the symbolic handing over of medals and trophies to the winning sportspersons. The excited crowd cheered and chanted as each name was called.
The captain of the boys’ team, Jordan Demuren, was full of praise for his school’s management whose vision led to the rewarding outing for him and his teammates. “Without Grange, I wouldn’t be here,” he said as he clutched his six medals. “It was a great opportunity and I’m happy I was part of the team.”
Head of School, Abra Stoakley (left) and Head of Secondary School, Adetola Oladeji, applaud the new champions.
Winning top prizes in football, athletics, and swimming, Team Grange has now set a bar for itself it hopes to beat in 2021. As the Director of Activities, Okechukwu Obi noted, the success of the Under13 team this year should inspire the next cohort to aspire for even greater achievement. “I look forward to the children working even harder to do better next year so that we can win it again. That is how to show that winning the games in 2020 was not a fluke.”
To make this dream come true, the future Under13 team would have to adopt the game plan that led to this year’s incredible achievement. As observed by teachers, coaches and parents, winning in Dubai 2020 could be attributed to several early morning, after school, and weekend training sessions as well as an intense dedication to the objective.
For that coming team, it would be just as inspirational to hear the same words said to this Under13 team by Stoakley. Quoting Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as that character addresses the brave Hobbits, Stoakley turned proudly to her world-conquering athletes and proclaimed: “Today, my friends, you bow to no one.”