THIS AMAZING TEENAGER IS THE NEW UK SCHOOLS MEMORY CHAMPION
Rehnumah Insan (17) recalls 120 words, 122 numbers, 17 fictional events with their dates, 48 playing cards in sequence… AND breaks the Student Memory World Record - with 1,963 competition points overall!
In second place was Kate McKenna
(17 - right), who also broke the World Record with 1,607 competition points – 112 words, 110 numbers, 13 events/dates… and 36 playing cards. And third place went to Sophie Stephenson (17 - left) – with 1,290 points - 82 words, 63 numbers, 15 events/dates and 30 playing cards.
There must be ‘something in the water’ in the North-East of England, as all three of these
talented youngsters attend a school or college in the region – Rehnumah is at Prior Pursglove College in Guisborough, Kate hails from the St. Thomas More School in Gateshead, while Sophie Stephenson is a pupil at the Joseph Swann School, also in Gateshead.
One hundred secondary school students from all over the UK competed in the final of the UK Schools Memory Championship, which was held on Wednesday 14th July at the University of Wolverhampton. Several thousand students had participated in Memory training and taken part in regional heats in order to qualify for the gruelling, tightly fought all-day Final contest.
“I didn’t realise I had such a good memory until I competed in the North-Eastern regional final a few weeks ago… and came second to Kate” says Rehnumah, who intends to study Law at university. “This time I was determined to do even better, but surprised myself at just what I achieved. Now I have learned these important, but relatively easy memory techniques, I will certainly be applying them to my studies in the future – and I am hoping my exam results and future performance overall will benefit from the extra knowledge I am able to retain.”
Over the past twelve months, eight times World Memory Champion Dominic O'Brien (pictured on p1), who devised the original concept of the UK Schools Memory Championship, has been spearheading training sessions in Memory techniques for secondary school and college groups. After the visit, in-school competitions and regional heats identify the most talented participants, with the top 100 students invited to the National Final.
Dominic himself has be
en highly enthused by the huge and growing interest in Memory training from both schools and students: “The UK Schools Championship has been created to help pupils discover the Mind Sport of Memory and to develop their mental skills to aid them with their studies” he continues. “With exam success dependent on making good use of one’s memory, mastering memorisation techniques early on is a great platform for future success.”
The competitions themselves are led by Phil Chambers, Chief Arbiter of the World Memory Sports Council. This year the competitors applied their newly-acquired memorisation techniques to four different doctrines: random words, random numbers, fictional events and dates, and the recall of a shuffled deck of cards in sequence. These categories were chosen to closely correspond to the World Memory Championships whilst being easily transferable to the learning of school subjects.
“The competition is a great way to embed Memory techniques into education and to develop life-long learning skills, which are transferable across the curriculum and throughout life” says Neil Denley, Director of Inspire Education, who, with his brother Stewart also co-founded the UK Schools Memory Championship.