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U15 FOBISIA Games Roundup – 5 Trophies and 107 Medals!

24 November 2017

Every year, students from BIS HCMC have the exciting opportunity to attend the U15 FOBISIA Games for three days of intense sporting competition against fellow British International Schools in Asia.

This year the Games took place in Phuket, Thailand and covered a range of sports including Football, Basketball, Swimming and Athletics. Each and every one of our students used their skills of perseverance, determination and ambition to bring home an unbelievable total of 5 out of a possible 6 trophies, 47 gold medals, 27 silver medals and 33 bronze medals as well as a host of memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. Here’s all the action straight from the Games…


Swimming – 2nd Place with 32 Medals (19 Gold, 4 Silver, 9 Bronze)

Match Report written by Boys Swimming Captain Dylan Bonner Higham

Waking up to an early start, all the swimmers and especially the supporters were raring to get up and go into a fierce swimming competition full of PBs, records and comebacks. Starting off with the medley relays the boys placed in a respectable 4th and the girls earning a well-earned 1st in both the A and B competition.

Next came the individual events in which our team earned many a medal, putting us up in the overall rankings. The day ended with a very close and competitive freestyle relay with our boys finishing 4th and fifth as well as the girls yet again emerging victorious.


Female Swimmer of the Day: Ly Hwang. Coaches struggled to select our athletes of the day for swimming but in the end it came down to consistency and performance. Ly Hwang was the female swimmer of the day with an outstanding 5 gold medals.

Male Swimmer of the Day: Dylan Bonner Higham. Dylan, the boys overall captain, won 5 bronze medals and therefore was awarded male swimmer of the day.

Athletics – 1st Place with 34 Medals (15 Gold, 10 Silver, 9 Bronze)

Match Report written by Athletics Captains Max Jencks and Maika Pederson

Athletics was a successful turnout involving a number of gold, silver and bronze medals with a number of school records being broken.

The tournament was split into two parts; one part involving boys track and girls field and the second part involving boys field and girls track finishing with the relays. Thanyapura gave us our first ever track meet on a 500-meter track which was something we all felt was interesting especially with the introduction of timed heats. It was something new that the whole team was excited for. Our goal was to place in at least 26 events and we exceeded our expectation with an incredible 34 medals, this includes; 15 gold, 10 silver and 9 bronze medals. One of the school’s best ratios in recent years. 

Honorable mentions go to: Justin Chu (boy’s athlete of the day), Gemma Handscombe (girl’s athlete of the day) and Campbell Taylor (called up at the last minute for 800 meters and still performing well). We would like to thank our coaches, Ms. Gallagher in particular for getting the whole team in shape and managing to perform the way we did shows how much work and effort our coaches put in for us to make our experience as memorable as possible.


Female Athlete of the Day: Gemma Handscombe. The girls had an outstanding day with all athletes taking home at least one medal, however, the athlete of the day had to be Gemma Handscombe. Gemma ran, jumped and sprinted her way to 2 golds and 2 silvers in her individual events, as well as a bronze in the relay giving her a maximum 5 out of 5 medals.

Male Athlete of the Day: Justin Chu. Justin won 3 medals out of a possible 4, 2 of which were gold. He also was one of the only boys to run, jump and throw.

Girls Football – 1st Place

Match Report written by MVP Ela Walsh

Our FOBISIA football tournament went very well overall. As our starting seven we had Trang in goal, Ela in defence, Gemma and Hayley in the midfield, Maika at the left wing and Letizia on the right wing and Faith up front as striker. Trang being at her first FOBISIA did very well in her position communicating constantly with our defence and our midfield. The whole attacking team were very strong, having good chemistry from playing together in our women’s league and training four-five times a week.

Our first game was against the BSKL. Within the first half we got a good sense of the skill of the other team and we were able to come through with a goal, we scored our next two goals in the second half ending the game with a strong 3-0 victory.

Our next game was against Bangkok Prep where we had a tough game at the start but in the end of the first half we had a couple of shots in the back of the goal. At the beginning of the second half we had another couple of shots that we pulled ahead. After these two matches everything seemed pretty smooth sailing finishing each game 2 or more points ahead of the opposition until the last game.

The last game we found the toughest having two of our best players injured what looked to be severely, however, they were able to come back on and we finished the game with yet another win.

In the end our team, The British International School Ho Chi Minh City were undefeated and are coming home with gold medals and a first place trophy.


Most Valuable Player: Ela Walsh. The girls were truly outstanding in the football tournament. All thirteen girls played their part in ensuring they remained unbeaten and claimed the gold medal. It was an incredibly difficult decision to choose the MVP for girl’s football so instead we decided to ask the girls to vote and they chose Ela Walsh.

Boys Basketball

Match Report written by MVP Tyler Nguyen

Our 1st game against ELC pushed us to concentrate more on our ball movement and our hustle on defence in our 2nd game against Bangkok Prep. Even though we took another loss in this game, we did much better in both our offense where we were moving and swinging the ball better; and in defence, we were closing out the space and hustling much more which led to a much closer game. In our next two games against the teams in group B, we finally found our team spirit and finally played real BIS basketball which led to two absolute dominations. 

The final standings were ELC in 1st, Bangkok Prep in 2nd and North London College Jeju in 3rd. This tells us that we faced the strongest teams in the first two games which really affected our game. However, this was where I stood out most, as I was able to turn those defeats around as I lead our team to win the following games. 


Most Valuable Player: Tyler Nguyen. Once again, fifteen players contributed to the success of the team so players voted for their MVP as Tyler Nguyen.

Girls Basketball - 2nd Place

Match Report written by Ms Gallagher

The girls’ basketball was highly anticipated and certainly didn’t disappoint. BIS HCMC got off to a flying start against ELC, putting quick points on the board and going up 8-0 in the first 6 minutes. ELC just couldn’t recover and BIS started the day with a well-deserved win.

Our second game proved much closer against BSG, it was extremely tight until half time when BIS finally got the better of them, through excellent defence, forcing the long shots and great rebounding the eventual score was 22-13 to BIS.

The third group game against NLCS was a straightforward victory where all players contributed to the 13-2 win.

By topping the group, we were through to the semi-finals against Bangkok Prep. Unfortunately, they had suffered injuries throughout the day and were down to a very small squad. The BIS girls still had to perform though and they continued to dominate winning 16-2.

It was time for the final against BSKL, unfortunately they got off to a better start going 4-0 up in the first quarter. It was a tight, tense and nerve racking game where the lead changed hands every quarter. Despite having almost double the shots that KL did, the baskets that had been easy to score all day just wouldn’t drop in for the BIS girls. In the end it was too many missed chances that proved the difference, an easy chance to level the score in the last 30 seconds went wanting and BSKL were ecstatic to take the win 14-12.

Despite the heartbreak it was still a silver medal and second place after an amazing day of competition, there was lots to learn from the final and the girls will be back stronger next year.

u15 fobisia phuket

Most Valuable Player: Faith Charnock. Faith scored several crucial baskets in the final and did not stop rebounding, chasing or hustling all day.

Boys Football – 3rd Place

Match Report written by Mr O’Brien

The boys started their campaign with a defeat to eventual winners BSKL but bounced back against BSG in the next game winning 1-0. BIS had most of the possession in the game but found the defensive strategy of BSG hard to break down. Eventually the breakthrough came with an incredible long range shot from Paul Madlinger.

Next up was NLC from Jeju Korea and once more an effective defensive block to break down. BIS played all the football in the game, but a lucky goal from NLC unfortunately put us out of the running for the gold.

The boys turned disappointment into determination in the next game beating DSZ 5-0 with a hat trick from Paul and a goal each from Max Jencks and Quang Pham. This impressive win put us back in the running for a medal finish.

Next up was a very tough game against ELC. BIS ran out eventual winners through a fantastic goal from Rafael Navarro. Going into the final game against BPR, BIS needed a win to finish second and a draw to finish third. As was the theme in all of our games, the opposition set up to defend and hit us on the break. BIS dominated the game but sadly could not find the back of the net and the game ended 0-0.

The boys finished the day achieving their aim of placing by winning the Bronze medal. BPR took Silver and undefeated BSKL took Gold.


Most Valuable Player: Paul Madlinger . Paul worked extremely hard in every game playing in a number of different positions. He finished the day with 4 goals, including a hat trick against DSZ.

Returning home with the trophies...


BIS HCMC PE Dept.‏ @BISHCMC_PE  - It feels like a lifetime ago that we left Ho Chi Minh but our U15 superstars are on the way home. Medals were won, memories were made and we’ll see you all soon #bishcmc #dreamteam

On behalf of Mr McLoughlin and the PE Department along with the wider BIS community we'd like to say a huge congratulations to each of our students who participated in this year's U15 FOBISIA Games. We are extremely proud of your achievements and you expressed fantastic team effort throughout the entire tournament.

We'd also like to express our thanks to all the parents, family and supporters who were cheering the students on from around the world. The continuous messages of love and support encouraged our students to be the best that they can be, ultimately resulting in 107 medals and 5 incredible trophies!

For all the photos and videos from the Games, please visit our PE Twitter page where you can also see the live action from the U9 and U11 Phuket Football Tournament that's currently under way...