The British School of Bahrain (BSB) is the first member of the Inspired family to participate in the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) Secondary Games. Hosted in Sheffield, England, 22 schools competed in three categories: swimming, athletics and football.

Trials to select our 16 strong squads were held during October. The competition was fierce, and putting the right team together was not easy for the teachers involved. All sixteen students, eight boys and eight girls would have to compete in all three sports disciplines. For the past six months, the students have put their hearts and souls into early mornings in the pool and late evening football training. The excitement was tangible when Team BSB departed for the UK on the evening of Wednesday, the 16th of May.

Day 1 of the competition was in the magnificent Pond’s Forge pool in Sheffield. Families and friends at home in Bahrain crowded around televisions to watch the livestreaming right from the first steps of the opening ceremony and felt a surge of pride to see Team BSB and the flag of Bahrain being paraded to the sound of bagpipes.

Competitors were focused and calm despite the magnificence of their surroundings. First the heats, then the finals – each more nail-biting than the next. Great success and a heist of medals saw Team BSB in 7th place at the end of the day! The children returned to the hotel buoyant yet exhausted. The words of the commentator “The British School of Bahrain boys relay team is very hard to beat” ringing in their heads.

Athletics on day 2 led to another range of emotions. BSB was off to a great start with a gold medal for Liam Marshall in the 1500m. There were some fabulous races and some great personal bests, but some moments of deep disappointment, when a few hundredths of a second between third and fourth place meant missing out on a medal. All hopes were pinned on the boys’ 400m relay. The livestream was lost for the event itself, and when at last footage returned, the demeanour of the students as they left the park said it all. Something hadn’t gone to plan. All hoped that the valiant little band would be resilient enough to bounce back in the morning.

Day 3 was the football tournament, and one thing is for sure, BSB students are true team players. Team BSB got off to a good start – then there was some wonderful news. The downcast faces the night before were because the boys’ relay team thought they had been disqualified. But the next day, the footage had been examined and the disqualification withdrawn. Jubilation all around!

The pace of the football matches picked up, all the players had each other’s backs and both the boys’ and the girls’ teams won medals in the second tier.

Bravo Team BSB – a wonderful 7th place overall in the end. Does anyone else in the Inspired family fancy a sporting challenge?