JCC President presents CLS International Honours ties


31 October 2018
JCC President, John Gee-Grant, presented three City of London School boys with their international honours ties at a special assembly at the School in October. These are awarded to talented, committed students who have or will have the distinction of representing their country in international competition.
The youngest recipient was Josh, aged 12 (2nd right in pic). In May last year, Josh won a place on the GBR Development team in the Optimist class (a single-handed boat for youths up to 15 years of age). The team of five (three boys and two girls) went to the US Nationals in Florida in July with a team manager and team coach. This proved to be an incredible experience and Josh was able to develop his skills in handling the Optimist. This, alongside hours of time on the water, allowed him to prevail in the National Championships – he is currently the British Junior National Champion. If all goes well, Josh will be competing for GBR in the World Championships in Antigua in 2019.
Commenting on Josh’s achievements, John said: “All these achievements are particularly notable, given Josh is only 12. He is often competing against boys two or three years his senior in relentlessly competitive ranking events, often in challenging conditions. Needless to say, he should be very proud of his achievements and I suspect we might see him on an Olympic podium, with a gold medal around his neck, in the years to come.’

Talented mathematician, Isaac (right in pic), also received his international honours tie. He is soon to represent the UK in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. In March of last year, Isaac qualified for a selection camp at Oxford University. As a consequence of his performance at this camp, he was selected as one of five students to travel to China in November to fight it out with the most talented physicists in the world.
John said: “Isaac is working extraordinarily hard to prepare for the event, avidly reading and completing practice questions. He spent much of the summer at training in camps at both Oxford and Cambridge. I am reliably informed that Isaac is an innately brilliant mathematician and scientist, but his success is down to an extraordinary amount of hard work. His resilience and focus will most certainly be required as the finals consist of a five-hour theory paper, a four-hour data analysis paper, an observation exam, and a team competition.”
The third recipient of an international honours tie was Sean (left in pic). Last July, he represented the UK in the International Linguistics Olympiad. He was selected on the basis of his performance in the UK equivalent. Sean first became fully engaged with linguistics after joining the Linguistics Society at the Freshers’ Fayre two years ago. He has, with Mr Allwright’s assistance, been completing past questions every week since then.
The linguistics problems in both the UKLO and ILO are in an obscure language or script that entrants are very unlikely to have encountered before.  Example sentences or phrases are given in the language together with their translations (or transliterations for script questions) in English. From these examples, competitors have to extrapolate how the language works, in order to translate some other phrases to the language or into English, which are then marked.  For the IOL questions, they also required to write-up full solutions with a ‘grammar’ of the language. 

In readying himself for the finals, held in Prague, Sean attended training camps and engaged in diligent preparation. There were two different competitions at the Olympiad, an individual competition and a team competition.  The individual competition was a six-hour long paper with five questions. The team competition was a four-hour long paper. There were 49 teams from 29 countries competing.Sean made a more than significant contribution to the success of the UK Team, who finished in 5th place overall, securing a Bronze Medal.
John said: “It’s been a privilege to play a small part in congratulating Josh, Isaac and Sean on their great achievements. It’s noticeable that all three have combined considerable individual talent and dedication whilst also playing an important role as part of a wider team. Successful teams are greater than the sum of the parts. You could say that about successful football, cricket or rugby teams but more importantly the whole team and culture here at CLS and in my experience, as members of the John Carpenter Club which, as you may know, has over 6000 Old Citizens across many decades and now living all over the globe. “ 

In ready