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Local girls make English Olympiad Top 20

Date Released: Tue, 16 July 2013 11:59 +0200

Grahamstown shone at the De Beers English Olympiad prize-giving ceremony as three local girls were announced in the Top 20.

Representing the Diocesan School for Girls was Carmen Nangolo in 6th place and Sylvie van Onselen in 15th place, with Blessings Chinganga from Victoria Girls High School placing 17th.

The Top 50 Olympiad winners will have the first year of their tuition at Rhodes University paid for them.

Dr Saleem Badat, the Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University said that the university will be paying approximately R1,5 million in tuition for the Olympiad winners.

However, in the speech that he gave at the ceremony Badat called this sum "a worthwhile price for the future leaders".

The Top 3 winners of the Olympiad will receive, along with a scholarship to Rhodes University and cash and voucher prizes, a trip to the United Kingdom.

The students will be sent to Cambridge, Oxford, London, Stratford and Canterbury for 11 days in December at the end of this year.

Iqraa Daniels, a grade 10 pupil from Oakhill High School in Knysna, placed third in the Olympiad.

She said she felt incredibly honoured to receive this award, especially since she is in grade 10 whereas most of the contestant are in matric.

She went on to say that going abroad is an amazing opportunity and she is excited to go overseas for the first time.

The winner of the Olympiad, Daniel Peter from St David's Marist High School in Johannesburg, shared Daniels' sentiments.

"I didn't expect to win; I've never felt my heart beating before. I'm excited about it," Peter said.

Lucy Grinker from Clarendon High School for Girls in East London placed second. She was as thrilled as her fellow winners, although she needed some extra time to let it all sink in.

"It's just so exciting that I think it will only really hit me five years down the line; but I am really happy," Grinker said.

This year, the Olympiad received approximately 8 000 entries.

The Grahamstown Foundation, the South African Council for English Education and De Beers expect even more from next year.

Photo Caption: The Top Three De Beers English Olympiad winners with Rhodes University Vice-Chanellor.L to R: Iqraa Daniels (3rd place, Oakhill High School), Daniel Peter (1st place, St David's Marist High School), Lucy Grinker (2nd place, Clarendon High School for Girls) and Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Saleem Badat.

By: Leah Solomon