JamieRichards

In 2012 I was fortunate enough to stumble across an advertisement for the World Education Games while I was on Mathletics, an online mathematics program. I soon learnt that the World Education Games is the largest online education competition in the world. The World Education Games is split into three categories; World Math/s Day, World Literacy Day and World Science Day. As 2012 was my first year, I didn’t achieve anything major.

The 2013 event was looking like it was going to be the biggest World Education Games yet with over 5 million competitors worldwide. I started training across all three events, but I soon made World Science Day my focus. After the event I realised my name was in the World Education Games official Hall of Fame. I received an invitation to the Official Awards Ceremony in Sydney for coming 81st in the world for World Science Day; I was later informed that I had placed 1st in Australia. As you would expect we were completely shocked. Team WEG paid for the entire trip in 2013 – from accommodation to flights, transport and the VIP Sydney tour, meals and the amazing Sydney Opera House Awards Ceremony. After the Awards Ceremony we were taken to the Taronga Zoo for the afternoon. After such an amazing experience I knew I was going to give it my all in the next World Education Games.

During 2014 I was already visualising another big win and I promised my Dad I would take him to Sydney in 2015, as I took my Mum in 2013. I told myself I could become the Australian Champion again for WEG 2015, and soon my expectations rose to the world stage. The 2015 World Education Games changed quite significantly from 2013, which I was afraid of but I knew I had to embrace change. The two most significant changes was the age groups; I was now competing in the year 9+ category, the hardest possible age category, and the other change was that only the top 3  students around the world would be invited to Sydney. I told myself to train 2-4 hours every day for the official WEG training period. I soon learnt that 2-4 hours wouldn’t be enough for World Champion, so I trained 8 hours every day for the practice period. I was averaging 20 points per game; I told Dad that anybody who can average more than 30 points per game on World Science Day could possibly be the World Champion. On my last day of training I was averaging 32.5 points per game. I thought I may actually have a shot at topping Australia again, and possibly the world.

WEG 2015 came and I was extremely excited, very nervous and a little worried. Only the first 20 games you play go towards your official World Education Games score, so I had to prove my talents in these games. I had a great start to the event, after my first 10 games I was averaging more than 32 points but the nerves soon got to me. My next few games weren’t the best, and as you would imagine the doubt started to fill me, but before I knew it, I scored a massive 41 points in one game and I was the happiest person on Earth. I felt like I was back in it, and that I was. My remaining 4 games were great as they were all above 30 points. I finished with 638 points, averaging 31.9 points per game. I was coming first in the world by a comfortable 35 points, and that’s how the results remained. I was literally in tears, something I haven’t experienced before in my life. All the emotions got to me, I topped the world and even today it’s still hard to comprehend. It’s certainly fair to say hard work does pay off.

My second trip to Sydney was even more amazing than the first. We stayed two nights, again with all expenses paid. It was such a great experience to be around people who had the same ambition as me; these people were all World Champions for their age groups. When I heard my name called out as the World Science Day, World Champion I was overwhelmed to say the least. Australia also won the overall World Science Cup, which was a very proud moment for both myself and our country. I was told after the ceremony by one of the World Education Games organisers that my contribution helped pull Australia over Malaysia in Science, which was the greatest compliment I’ve ever had. He said that out of the 6 million competitors only one person could score the highest total science score in the world.

I would love to congratulate anybody who took part in the World Education Games around the world as we all united in learning and raised over $100,000 to help send more than 33,000 students to school. The Sydney trip was spectacular and having my Dad there with me was incredible. I kept my word and became the 2015 World Education Games, World Science Day, World Champion.