Calista Primary School student wins esports competition

Tyra PetersSound Telegraph
Calista Primary School student Jireh Caranay and STEAM co-ordinator Elaina Lam.
Camera IconCalista Primary School student Jireh Caranay and STEAM co-ordinator Elaina Lam. Credit: Supplied

A Calista Primary School student has been crowned a winner at an annual schools esports competition.

Jireh Caranay, 12, was one of four students representing the school when they travelled to Queensland for the annual FUSE Cup nationals last month.

Tournaments were held across three age divisions from Years 5 to 10, with students competing in video games including Just Dance, Mario Kart and Rocket League.

The esports competition has a strong focus on educating students on the importance of digital wellbeing, while creating a fun and engaging opportunity to interact with their peers.

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Calista Primary School STEAM and ICT co-ordinator Elaina Lam said this was the school’s first time taking home a major win.

“As a team we placed third, which was a massive achievement being their first year competing at nationals,” Ms Lam said.

She said she was “always on the lookout for exciting and fun ways to get students engaged in school through technologies”.

“With the rise in esports and gaming online, the FUSE Cup gives teachers like myself the opportunity to introduce online and competitive gaming in a safe and supported environment as well as open up dialogue with students about how to be safe and respectful online,” Ms Lam said.

“It also promotes digital wellbeing in students and allows an increase in positive online and gaming social interactions.

“It gives the students an opportunity to take risks and learn what’s expected of a positive digital citizen.”

Ms Lam said the esports team had brought students together and they would often meet during lunch times to practice in the lead up to the competition.

“We have seen an increase in attendance from students so that they don’t miss out on try-outs or training, as well as amazing sportsmanship and camaraderie between students,” she said.

“The fact that esports is now in the Olympics also helps to solidify our choice in continuing to participate, as it shows the students and the community that we want to give our students the best opportunities and have them ready for the future.”

Year 6 student Jireh competed in the Mario Kart tournament and took home the win for his age division.

The youngster said he was elated to have won the competition.

“At the start I felt nervous but eventually I felt better,” he said.

“I felt happy as a whole, as there was probably maybe three to four years where I have been playing since I got a Nintendo Switch and I’m just happy that after this long that I’m actually doing something with it and that all my hard work paid off.”

Jireh said he enjoyed the trip as a whole and his advice to other kids was that: “It’s not about winning, it’s about fun”.

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