For quizzical minds

By Madhushala Senaratne

Quizzes are interesting. To perform well, among other things, you've got to be in touch with what's happening around the world. How fun is this? Besides, by the end of it, you would have learnt a lot more on various issues. That's not all either. You would know where you stand in terms of 'general knowledge.'

So, school children and/ or school general knowledge teams here's your chance to test your general knowledge all over again.

The Blue and Gold Quiz is back. Organized by the General Knowledge Club of Royal College, stakes are even higher at this year's quiz with over 50 schools expected to participate at the event. Now in its 18th year this is the longest running school quiz championship. Who will emerge winners?

We caught up with members of the General Knowledge Club of Royal College and their teacher-in- charge who told us about the significance of such a quiz and what to expect.

Quizzes such as these help students enhance their knowledge and learn new things, teacher in charge of the General Knowledge Club of Royal College, Mrs. M. Kalupahana said, explaining the importance of a quiz.

"There is much that students can gain by participating at a quiz. They have to read a lot on issues which helps them expand their knowledge. They need to be prepared to answer all sorts of questions", she said, adding that this is also the only quiz with over 50 participating teams.

She added that over the years students have shown a lot of enthusiasm and interest in quizzes and the standard of the quiz keeps increasing.

The structure of the quiz is simple. It is a table quiz with teams consisting of four members each. There would be five rounds of questioning – based on current affairs and sports, science and technology, art, history and literature and two rounds based on general knowledge. There would also be one multi-media question in each round. Teams would be given 30 seconds to answer each question and with time given at the end of each round to check their answers.

"Last year we had around 50 schools from across the country participating at the event. So this year we expect more", General Secretary of the Club, Thilina Hewawasam (19) said, adding that invites have been sent to over 50 schools, including to outstation schools.

Mahinda College, Galle, emerged winners at last year's competition, while Nalanda College were the runners up. "The aim of organizing this quiz competition every year is not only to help students gain more knowledge, but also to promote quizzes among schools children both in Colombo and out of Colombo," Thilina said.

He added, "Quizzes are not easy." But, "it's a great learning experience," some members of the Quiz team of Royal College explained.

"It is important to keep in touch with current affairs. Quizzes test our knowledge. But it's also a lot of fun to be a part of it," Amila Sumanapala (19), member of the quiz team said.

Explaining how the team prepares for a quiz, Amila said that they usually divide the subjects among themselves. "So we need to study individually and as a team. But in the end it's a team effort," he said.
Chairman of the General Knowledge Club of Royal College and team captain, Poorna Molligoda (19) said that the team is keen to maintain a high standard and have regular practices.

"We also have club meetings every week. We strive to work professionally and the members of the club and quiz teams work very hard to achieve great results," Poorna said. In fact, the quiz team of Royal College has performed exceptionally well in quizzes throughout the years. "That's because of hard work and constant practice," a beaming Poorna said, adding that they would only strive to get better.

For those participating at this year's Blue and Gold Quiz, the organizers have this to say – be prepared, it's a tough challenge, but it's bound to be a lot of fun. And, they add, winning would be great. So, good luck!

The winning team would be awarded full scholarships from the Synergy School of Marketing, the Blue and Gold Champions Trophy and medals. The Blue and Gold Quiz 2008 will be held on October 31 at Royal College from 2pm onwards.

The main sponsor for the event is Synergy School of Marketing, while The Sunday Times is the print media partner.

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