A group of Westside students made CyberCenturion history yesterday as they were crowned the UK’s top all-girls team at the final held in London.
Three teams of local students made their mark at the UK CyberCenturion final with the Westside all-girl group awarded the first ever top prize in this category.
The two all-boy teams from Bayside School also both ranked in the top 10 and represented the Rock at the finals held in The Institution of Engineering and Technology, London.
The three teams battled tough competition with over 500 teams from the UK and Overseas Territories having signed up to the competition, and reached the final against the top 10.
The top three teams this year consisted of students from three grammar schools in the UK and the prizes were awarded by UK Government Minister of Implementation Oliver Dowden.
Prizes were also awarded for top teams in the all-girl, all-boy, mixed and cadet categories, with the Westside students clinching the top all-girl team prize.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, also visited the students during the final in London yesterday.
The top team was awarded an all-expenses paid trip to the US to meet with senior figures within the industry.
The Westside all-girl team were also recognised by the UK Cabinet Office, which commended the team on twitter and marked their achievement on International Women’s Day.
Bayside Head of Physics Stewart Harrison has been training the comprehensive students for years and told the Chronicle the local teams were up against students that were “academically some of the best in the country”.
Mr Harrison added he was proud of his students, who had worked very hard and were up against very tough competition.
The four-hour competition saw the teams working to protect fictitious gaming companies from hackers.
The all-girl team aged between 15 and 17 have been working towards this for two years, having also competed in last year’s challenge.
Eliza Triay, Katerina Zagurova, Alexandra Lester, Lily Jaques and Ritika Melwani came together last year to create an all-girl ‘super group’.
On behalf of the team Miss Triay said she was “very proud” of their achievement and the team is “happy to have gone this far”.
The girls succeeded reaching the final without needing to use a ‘wildcard’ that had been offered to the top all-girl team.
In a bid to attract all-girl teams the organisers of the CyberCenturion introduced a ‘wildcard’ meaning that the top girl team would be fast-tracked into the final even if they did not place in the top 10.
But the Westside girls rose to the challenge and conquered their dream of reaching the final without any fast-track. The closest competitive all-girls group came in 34th place.
The girls were yesterday recognised for this achievement of being the top all-girl team in the entire competition.