Mary Oboh won the first prize in the individual category at the 9th Chinese Bridge Speaking Competition hosted by Hanban in Yunnan last month. A delegation of five candidates from Dartford Grammar School took part in the annual completion together with 400 other contestants from 89 countries across the globe.
The team’s strong Chinese proficiency, fluent communication and striking performances left a lasting impression on the audience and judges, resulting in Fergus winning an ‘Excellence Award’ (优胜奖) with a 6-month scholarship to study in China and Mary obtaining the ‘First Individual Prize’ (一等奖), with three years’ scholarship to study in China. Jonathan Pope, the teacher who led the group, was given an award for the lead teacher (优秀领队教师奖). The team progressed to the semi-finals in the group section of the competition, but was knocked out in the fourth round.
‘I want to thank Hanban, UCL IOE’s Confucius Institute and my school’s Chinese department. This opportunity is an encouragement and acknowledgement of all the effort and hard work that I have put into learning Chinese over the past 3 years. Within just 17 days, we participants built up strong friendships and created many wonderful memories. In my eyes, the global friendships I created during the competition and the warmth that I felt in China are the most precious gift that ‘Chinese Bridge’ has given me.’