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Our Secondary TOM Team 2 competed in the State Finals of Tournament of Minds on Sunday 12 September 2021 and received Tournament State Honours. Below are reflections from our team members.

TOM was an amazing experience that I was able to participate in despite being in lockdown. This was my first year doing TOM, and it was a very new experience for me, not even mentioning the fact that we had to do it online. What in-person sessions we had gone by quickly, and being online, working out how we would execute not only a video but also a good video that displayed all of our strengths was tough. During our rehearsals, we couldn’t do much more than read the script and plan what creative movement we’d do while recording. However, our team pulled through and stayed positive throughout the whole process.

Regionals came around, and it was rush hour, putting our video together and completing the forms for submission. After a few days, we got the message that we’d made it to State. Fair to say, we were a bit ecstatic with the good news. But that meant that be had to prepare for State.

Hours of Spontaneous practice sessions to make sure our heads were in the game. Finally, Sunday rolled around, and our State Spontaneous was a go. I was the moderator and made sure that no one talked over each other while still maintaining a stimulating discussion.

The TOM experience was unforgettable, but we wouldn’t have made it this far without our facilitators, James and Sophia. The positive energy and advice they gave was really valuable and made the experience that much more memorable.”

Linda

I think that being in the tournament of minds was a really fun and great experience! I want to thank the facilitators for guiding us through this process and showing us how to do TOM. I didn’t play a special role, but I still contributed to the team. We practised spontaneous challenges at rehearsals, and we worked on the long-term challenge. The regional was very fun, and so was the lead up to State. I think that our team has done very well in the Tournament of Minds.

Tanish Molli

The 2021 TOM was an amazing experience that resulted in our team winning first place at the regional challenge, receiving honours at State, and just missing out by a small margin.

This was my first time participating in Tom online, and I was disappointed in the beginning, but as a team, we managed to keep up TOM spirit and to do this tournament online proved to be so much fun still. It was incredible to meet and connect with people I had never spoken to before and grow as a team with every spontaneous challenge we faced.

Doing TOM online meant we as a team had to brainstorm new strategies, and our performance styles needed to be altered. Together we decided on backdrops as a team and experimented with zoom to record our challenge. In each rehearsal, we took time in our designated groups to work on a task. I wrote the script alongside Dinadi and Michael. Linda focused on the animation and backdrops when we went in lockdown, and Ati, Jack and Tanish worked on the plan for props and costumes that unfortunately couldn’t be used when we had to quarantine. Once the script was complete, we recorded over multiple days in small clips to highlight creative movement and backdrops as our styles.

Finding out that we made it to State was extremely exciting as no one in our team had made it before. From there on each rehearsal, we practised spontaneous and handed out roles. I was the problem checker and side tracker, Michael was the presenter, Dinadi was the problem checker, Linda was the moderator, Jack was the timekeeper, Ati was the main scribe, and Tanish was the backup scribe.

I could never have imagined our team would come this far, and I’m really grateful for my experience this year.

Thank you so much to James, Mr Hilton and Sophia for guiding our team through the tournament of minds this year. I can’t wait to do more TOM in the future and hopefully see everyone again soon.

Aleisha Sparrow

My experience this year with Tom was more than I expected. Half of the things that happened were unimaginable!

Despite having done Tom in the past, this year was definitely a first. Doing everything online was a challenge, and the uncertainty was nerve-wracking. Even with the challenge of lockdown, our team rose to the occasion, and we came out strong.

During rehearsals, we collaborated and productively worked for our goal every session. At first, we struggled to speak up and connect, but in the end, we got closer as a team, and we all became comfortable to speak our minds and input our thoughts. Our motivation definitely took a hit after going in and out of lockdown, but we held on to our Tom spirits and created our video that won the regional finals.

The lead up to State was filled with hours of hard work and adjustment. We developed our skills in creative thinking, teamwork, and time management majorly after completing dozens of challenges together.

On the day of the State finals, I played the role of problem-checker and backup presenter, and I am happy with the part I played during the challenge. Linda was the moderator, Michael was the presenter, Jack was the timekeeper, Ati was the main scribe, Aleisha was the problem checker, and Tanish kept up our team morale. Hopefully, my motivation and achievement towards Tournament Of Minds will allow me to make it to the Australasian finals next year, and hopefully, a facilitating position in the years to come.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Inside Art team and my facilitators James, Sophia and Mr HIlton, and I couldn’t be more pleased with our results.

Dinadi Sethuhewa

When I first signed up for TOM for the first, I was full of uncertainty. I haven’t looked back since. It was great working as a team. I also grew my TOM knowledge as time went by. I learnt new words like Creative movement, Using the square and ‘TOM Spirit’.

We were plunged into lockdown, but our group put in the work together, resulting in a solid regional performance. I enjoyed going to State. We worked tirelessly, and we put together an incredible state performance. Although, I would have liked to have won. I am super happy with TOM this year and the way the team collaborated.

I would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone in my team, James and Sophia and Mr Hilton. You guys have been so kind to me, and TOM has been great.

Atiksh (Ati) Ramakrishnan

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