Success for JJ

Gentlemen take up your positions Not at the front this year And they are off Stan on his way to a 24 minute finish JJ arrives in 32 minutes A wee rest in the sun JJ's notes
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Jean-Jacques at Fressin

8 July 2006

Following on from last years efforts at chasing athletes round a course and having the head gasket blow, this year I suggested to Jean-Jacques that with all the physical work that he has been doing perhaps he would like to try for the 5 kilometre run.

The reality of his school is that whilst they do lots of football and marching they don't actually do a lot of stamina training.

To help him on his way a bit I suggested that he ask his school mate Stan N'Dinga, a French born Congolais, to come along and give him some support.

Stan is very much an athlete but again not for long distance running. He is however nothing but muscle and as fit as a fiddle.

On the Saturday afternoon we got their paper work sorted out and they were inscribed. At 17:00 hours they were called to the line and off they went.

JJ was quite clear to Stan to be wary of the lead group who are all very well trained distance runners. Thus, this time they set off at their own pace with the second group - but we don't let the girls overtake us!

About 18 minutes and 5500 metres later the winner came haring round the corner towards the finishing line. A few more came on in and then at 24 minutes Stan appeared.

I was surprised afterwards to find that Stan had never run a 5km race before, in which case 24 minutes I reckon is pretty good.

He explained that JJ had been finding it hard going and as it is really difficult to run slowly he had come on ahead.

I was my usual worrying self until five minutes later JJ appeared at the bend and had only another couple of minutes to push himself down to the finishing line at 32 minutes.

He was well a bit strained looking but recovered well and was pleased enough with his time.


His First Educational Success

Our other reason to be pleased with Jean-Jacques this weekend was the fact that after having hidden the results from me for a week, he finally produced his Exam Results from his CFG.

He was a bit annoyed that the 20 minute oral had let him down as he had been asked questions about food categories and had been somewhat thrown. French oral examinations can ask you about almost anything and they are often very inquisitorial.

The Certificate of General Formation basically says that you have a grounding in French, Maths and general civil life (How the country runs, cultural issues etc). It might not be the hardest exam in the world but a few months ago JJ would have failed it.

The fact that two months of hard work on his part has made his success possible is all to his credit. A basic exam it might be but it allows him to apply for a higher rung of education.

The surprise was that he has turned out to be pretty good at maths. I well remember trying to explain fractions to him a few months ago, and they were impossible - bloody useless! Now look at him.


See also

Aquaclub and painting

JJ's Mission de Cohesion

Air Show at Cambrai

JJ chasing antelopes in 2005