Lilongwe Schools Wildlife Quiz Championships
10 May 2012
The finals of the Wildlife Quiz Championships were held at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre on Saturday, and it couldn’t have been more nail-biting stuff!
Preparations began six months ago, back in December last year. Schools across Lilongwe were chosen to compete based on their commitment to their wildlife clubs. In the lead up to the first rounds in March, all learners from those schools were invited to take part in workshops run by the LWC team, through which 1535 children took part for a chance to be one of four to qualify to represent their school. Schools then competed against each other for a place in the championship through the regional heats.
The finalists were Biwi Community Day School, Chimutu Community Day Secondary School, St John’s Catholic Secondary School and Padre Pio Secondary School, and each team brought along more than adequate support. The children had prepared signs, mottos and dances especially for the event. Biwi even brought their trumpeter along as a lucky mascot! The crowd erupted every time a team got the right answer, and it was terribly heartbreaking to see the earnest teams from Chimutu and Padre Pio get knocked out after all their hard work. Still, that didn’t stop them cheering on the final two teams, Biwi and St John’s. It was absolutely neck and neck right until the end – Biwi pulled ahead by a couple of points but right at the end one wrong answer wrong pulled them down to 18 points each. On to ‘sudden death’ and there was nothing between them for the first three questions. Then Biwi missed one point, and it was as if the audience, including the troop of vervets in the surrounding trees, were holding their breath as St John’s stepped forward…with the right answer! There were cheers and tears and victory dances as St John’s walked away with the top prize - a safari trip for 20 children to Liwonde Park to see wildlife in the wild for themselves. The other teams were all winners too of course, and took home bundles of goodies kindly donated by our sponsors.
The event was well advertised around town and brought in quite a crowd. The whole competition was recorded for broadcast by both the local TV and radio stations, so those who could not come to the quiz also had the chance to test their knowledge. The passion of our champions came through very strongly in their interviews, and we have no doubt that a couple of them are destined for great things in the wildlife world. We’re sure the quiz has helped to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and inspire others to get involved. We’re already looking forward to next year!
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