While most learners find Mathematics difficult, Wian Botma, a Gr. 10 learner at the Hoër Landbouskool Jacobsdal, experiences it as fun.He received the prize as overall winner in the Free State Mathematics Competition, with a total of 300 learners who competed. Wian was also the overall winner in 2018. Due to his winning position in 2018, he represented the Free State at the final round of the 2019 South African Olympiad in July. This year’s provincial competition was held in Bloemfontein on 11 and 12 October.Wian’s prizes for 2019 include a smartphone, a laptop, a printer, a power bank, an Oxford Maths Dictionary, a R2 000 shopping voucher, a Maths kit for his school, a gold medal, a certificate and a floating trophy. Caitlin Rossouw (Gr. 8) and Lize Ferreira (Gr. 9), both learners at the Eunice High School, and Amkitha Diko (Gr. 11) of the Springfontein High School, were the winners for their respective grades. They took home prizes that include smartphones, tablets, vouchers, power banks and cash vouchers, and also received Maths kits for their schools. The four learners’ additional prize is a trip to Cape Town where they will, amongst other activities, visit the Koeberg Nuclear Power station and Robben Island. The competition is run by the Free State Department of Education in partnership with the Kagiso Trust and the Eskom Development Foundation as the sponsor. Learners receiving 50% and above for Mathematics were selected to participate in the competition which is in its fourth year. The competition starts at school level and expands to cluster and district levels before reaching the provincial finals. Top performers are selected in each round with eliminations occurring as the competition progresses. At cluster level the number of participants was whittled down from 71 240 to 3 500. The number of learners were then reduced to 1 250 for the third round on district level.Only 300 made it to the fourth and final provincial round which was held over the two days. The competition focuses on conceptual knowledge, the application of knowledge in new situations, problem-solving, reasoning, communication and creative thinking. The questions are based on the syllabus for Gr. 8 to Gr. 11 learners.“The questions in the competition address the different dimensions of Mathematics of which our learners have very little exposure in the curriculum,” said Manana Maboe, communication manager of the Eskom Development Foundation.