Diego Foster, 13, Keyon Johnson and Andre’ Cerff, both 12, who are all in Grade 6, each earned R20 000 by winning the 2019 Growsmart Mathematics Championships.

The finals, whose previous stages were hosted earlier at various venues and times, took place at the Waterfront’s Lookout conference venue at the weekend.

A stipulation of winning the championships was that the prize money be used to buy school items for the winners, said Floreat teacher Brent Solomons, coach of the three boys.

Diego said: “I found the competition very interesting and fun to do. Sometimes I was a bit nervous, but I overcame that. I will buy a school uniform, a laptop, an iPhone, a GPS tracker device watch and yearly bundle of data with my prize money.”

Keyon said: “I thought we were not going to make it through the first round, but because of us staying in class after school and studying hard, we made it past every round.”

He would buy a school uniform, an ePad, a laptop, a backpack for touring, a smartwatch and data bundle with his prize money, he added.

Andre’ said: “The competition was very interesting because it helped me to become quicker with maths. It’s not an easy competition and you have to study hard to get through.”

Contestants, from Grade 4 to 6, prepared for the competition by practising mathematics exercises and questions from their curriculum-based textbooks.

Three pupils per team competed against each other for points, with winners going to the next level and points being based on the number of mathematics problems solved.

Following school principal Noel Isaacs’s comment that his is the most successful school in the history of the Growsmart competition, Solomons said: “I think it’s a big achievement for the school because they come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“What is important is not where you come from, but where you are going.. I am very humbled by their great work and their achievement.“

Solomons thanked teacher Nicole Thomas for helping him coach the three pupils, as well as the parents and the school community for their support.

**Cape Times**

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