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Reach for the Top team BMHS Image: submitted

BMHS Reach for the Top team going to Nationals

By Tara Clow May 22, 2024 | 8:12 AM

A group of local high school students are heading to Ottawa.

The Bernice MacNaughton High School Reach for the Top team were runner-ups to Fredericton High at this year’s provincials.  The top two teams compete at nationals, which is being held in the nation’s capital this year.

Team member Charlotte Upright says it’s a trivia-based tournament, “For me, Reach for the Top is just an opportunity to hang out and talk with people who have similar interests and knowledge. Being able to just share the random facts that you keep in your head at the end of the day. It’s a really, really nice environment.”

Fellow team member Sarah Hackett says it’s a Club that’s not a sport and doesn’t involve an audition, and no tryouts, ” So you don’t need to have a certain skill set to join it. I think that’s really important for high schools, because they usually focus a lot on sports. For people who aren’t very athletic, it’s a great place to join something and be a part of the school in a way that maybe not many people know about.”

On June 1st and 2nd, BMHS will go up against other schools from across Canada as a part of the National Reach for the Top tournament.

“There’s usually three games in the morning. A typical tournament has about 80 questions per round. For national play, there will be 15 games usually on one day. Everybody’s in the same boat with excitement and exhaustion. It’s a very full day and then the next day they’ll play the quarterfinals, semifinals and final games.” Coach and teacher Natasha Leblanc says.

This is the fifth time a BMHS Reach for the Top team has gone to Nationals.

“It feels really great, especially since we’re the only school that does Reach for the Top in our district. We used to have a lot more but they have dwindled off as the years have gone by. We really want to go to Nationals and promote that we’re here and we’re doing great,” Upright adds.

The trip to Ottawa is quite costly, and they have fundraising planned to help cover the costs.

They’re hosting a gala trivia night at BMHS on May 24 at 7 pm.  They’re encouraging everybody to challenge their businesses, their MLAs, their neighbours, their school teams and their pub trivia clubs. Flights for the students are expected to cost $4,000, accommodations are another $2000. The fee to register for Reach for the Top is around $350 per student.

BMHS Reach for the Top team
Image: submitted

“For a lot of them, it’s their first time in the nation’s capital. It’s their first time away for a team trip. They’re very excited and they’re putting all of their efforts into securing these funds. So we’re really excited to get them there.” Leblanc adds.

Registration for a team of four is a minimum donation of $10 per player.  To register, you can contact  Natasha LeBlanc at Natasha.leblanc2@nbed.nb.ca

Image: Submitted

For current or future students at BMHS, the team is encouraging them to join the Reach for the Top team.

“We don’t have any grade nines right now. So once our seniors leave we will be missing a lot of players and we’ll need a lot more recruits. If you know things about sports, or math, or if you don’t know anything,  still come out because it’s really fun. We need a bunch of diverse niches and interests. One year, we had a girl who came in and she knew about fencing. There was a question about fencing and that won the one than the game,” Hackett says.