Team spirit behind Carter quiz kings’ non-stop reign

2008-08-27 00:00

Wearing the title of The Witness School Quiz champions is no easy feat, but as reigning champions Carter High School will tell you, it is not impossible — especially with R1 000 each as an incentive coupled with a good team spirit.

Doing it five times in six years has set them apart as the heavyweights of general knowledge. The team first clinched the trophy back in 2003 and they have been able to hold on to it tenaciously since then, though a win eluded them in 2004.

So just how do they do it? The team believes it has to do with determination, hard work and a lot of spirit.

This year’s winning team was made up of Yashvir Salagaram (17), who started participating in the competition while in grade 9 three years ago; Ayanda Ndlovu (18) and Tahira Banoobhai (17), both competing for the second time; and first-timer Munandia Ansarie (17).

“I was so nervous, I hardly slept. It was my first time and there was so much pressure not to let the team down. There was also pressure for us to win again and we, ourselves, really wanted to win ,” said Munandia

“There were high expectations from other pupils as well. You’d walk down the corridor and they would tell you that you had better win. Knowing that a lot of people wanted to be in the position you are in to be able to represent the school in this way, you’d want to deliver,” said Ndlovu.

“Also, every team looks at you as you are walking in at the competition. It is real pressure,” said Tahira.

But nerves aside, the group, who are all in grade 12, said it was always clear what they were playing for.

“Winning the R1 000 each was a big incentive. From the word go, it was all about winning. But I think it also helped that we are all friends. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we were able to cover each other,” said Yashvir.

The group attested to their teachers playing a significant role in getting them prepared.

“Everyone was pepping us up and they were very supportive throughout our preparing process. I guess our formula has been to make a habit out of reading papers … and quiz each other on current issues.” they said.

On top of their R1 000 prizes, they each received R3 500 bursaries from Varsity College, and the school was allocated a R25 000 bursary fund.

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