Ghana witnessed its first ever Speedcubing competition on Saturday, 6th April 2019, at the Al Rayan International School in East Legon, Accra. The maiden event was put together by Edulearn Ghana in partnership with the World Cube Association (WCA) and with support from the Hungarian Embassy in Ghana.
The competition brought together 65 cubers overall representing 13 different nationalities and 10 schools who took home various prizes.
The participants competed in four different events 3x3, 2x2, Skewb and Pyramix. The best of five average was taken as the final score.
At the end of the contest, Master Krishang Agarwal, a pupil of the Roman Ridge School emerged the winner after winning three categories of the Skewb, 2×2×2 Cube, and 3×3×3 Cube. He went away with trophies and printers for the various categories. Shreya Basak won the ultimate prize in the Pyramix category.
World Cube Association Delegate for Africa, Mr Philipe Virouleau was overwhelmed with the participation level at the event.
“It was awesome, the whole competition was very great. We had way more competitors than we expected. We expected about 30 competitors and we got 60 so it was nice. All in all, the event went very well.”
Speedcubing is a sport involving solving a variety of twisty puzzles, the most famous being the 3x3x3 puzzle or Rubik's Cube, as quickly as possible. The Rubik's Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian professor of architecture, Ernő Rubik.
The Hungarian Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Andras Szabo, who was the special guest of honour was impressed with the level of competition amongst participants.
“It was the first officially organised competition here in Ghana so now you (Ghana) are a member of the international community when it comes to Rubik competitions.”
“We will hope that we will see more kids in the future. There were some brilliant kids at the event solving the cube in less than 30 seconds which is completely crazy. I think these are the events that should be organised and I’m so proud I came.”
Al Rayan International School director Dr Fatma Odaymat explained why the school decided to host the competition.
“The main reason why we put so much interest in these extracurricular activities, although I prefer to call them extended learning opportunities because learning is not something that is supposed to happen only in the classroom,” Dr Fatma said.
“There is going to be a bright future for the Rubik’s cube competition. Playing a game because it is an interest is different, but competing with the game requires another set of skills and competencies that we need to see in these students.”
“It’s not the just solving the cube with the algorithm but the discipline to sit down and practice helps build character. I feel this is what we get with the competitions.
“The character, discipline and the skills necessary to move these kids to the next level. It’s the same as the other sports, you can enjoy playing football or basketball, but when you actually compete you harness a new set of skills and this is the development we want to see in our kids,” she added.
The speedcubing competition in Ghana was the dream of Mrs Pooja Gokaldas who was the organiser of Speedcubing Ghana.
“I have been teaching how to solve Rubik’s cube to children for over a year now. It only made sense to put that spirit of competition together and organise it as an event. Speedcubing competitions are very common in the world. It was a dream to bring it to Ghana and today it happened. Initially, we thought we could only bring a few kids together. We had an overwhelming response, we had 65 kids from 13 different nationalities and 10 schools around Ghana who came together and spent the whole day with us solving the different types of cubes”
Although this was the maiden competition, Mrs Gokaldas started to look at what the future holds for the Speedcubing competition in Ghana.
“We hope to have one every six months and we hope to continue the tradition so that from 60 participants, hopefully, the next time we may double and triple and then it will grow into a bigger competition.”