Ocean View library coders place third in world champs

Ocean View library’s coding team eagerly awaiting the results of the Coding4Mandela world championships. From left, are Meah Jacobs, Orlando Baker, Grace Frank, Aaron Smith and Aqeelah Abrahams with coach and assistant librarian Ulfah Davids.

Ocean View library’s coding team came third in the Coding4Mandela world championships, on Tuesday December, the 10th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death.

The Ocean View, Belhar and Valhalla Park City library coding teams were part of a five-team contingent that represented South Africa in the virtual showdown, competing against more than 50 teams from 21 countries.

The Belhar and Valhalla Park teams came sixth and eighth, respectively.

“What makes this achievement more amazing is that the teams have only been coding for a few short months. They have done the City proud, and we are impressed by their analytical and problem-solving skills,“ said mayoral committee member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross.

She encouraged more young people to join library coding clubs.

“Ulfah Davids, assistant librarian and coding coach from Ocean View, and Shadwell Overmeyer, from Valhalla Park, played pivotal roles as coding coaches, contributing to the emergence of three out of five South African teams from City of Cape Town libraries.”

Ms Davids said the teams had had 11 levels to complete during the competition with 30 minutes for each level.

“We finished all 11 levels in just eight minutes, attempting them 12 times in total (we tried one level twice). The winner was selected based on the fewest attempts, which was 11 for all 11 levels, and the quickest completion time if all levels were finished,” she said.

The team’s third-place finish was a significant victory, according to Ms Davids. The achievement not only gave the children confidence but also made them feel like they could compete with the best and aim for even bigger dreams.

“Beyond the global recognition, this experience has instilled a powerful belief in their ability to achieve great things. It celebrated their unique talents on an international stage and showed them just how bright their futures are.”