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Life at BSU #20

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Presenting the next unique story of our series #LifeatBSU, where guests share their stories and experiences at the British School of Ulaanbaatar. Today's guest, 3rd Degree Athlete of Mongolia, Year 9 Student Margad Naranbaatar has talked about his passion and busy lifestyle with us.

My name is Margad and I’m a student at BSU in year 9X. It’s been almost one year since I started swimming. Initially, I’ve decided to learn swimming as I thought that it’ll be a useful life skill. Four months later, my swimming coach asked me if I was interested in professional training which I’ve happily agreed to do. After months of practice and training I’ve participated in a few competitions such as the ‘Mongolian National Swimming Competition 2022 & 2023’, ‘President's Award 2023’, and ‘UBAC 2023. As a result of my latest competition, I am grateful that I've qualified the requirements of the ‘3rd Degree Athlete of Mongolia’ award. This was a push to strive forward and the BSU team is training hard for the upcoming competitions. My mum is the person in my life that encourages me to try different things. Four years ago, she gave me a choice to learn swimming or piano. I've chosen to learn piano at the time and carried on until today.

As I have been playing piano longer than swimming, I have had the privilege to perform in Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, and Paris. On top of these, I actively participate in virtual International competitions where the participants send their videos to compete. From experience, children from Asia, specifically China and Japan are the toughest competitors to compete as they are very skilled.

I regularly participate in Mongolian piano competitions to keep challenging myself. I’m currently practising to participate in the upcoming ‘Piano Lovers 2023’ competition. In competitions, I try to set my expectations low and focus on the pleasant experience of it.

N.Margad won first place in the ''Crescendo international music competition 2022' and received appreciation and a monetary prize from the Mongolian Government for renowned Mongolian heritage in the international competition. As a reader himself, he decided to dedicate a portion of the prize to the school library.

In Mongolia, music competitions mainly have two different categories: ‘professional’ - dedicated for students who study at music schools; whereas ‘non-professional/amateurs’ category is often dedicated for students from other schools. However, in most countries, children who compete in international competitions often start learning piano at age 3. So most countries have only one category, unlike Mongolia. Hence, the competition is fierce in International Competitions as most of the children participate as professionals.

Next year, I will be in Year 10. In accordance with the British curriculum, I’ll take my IGCSE Exam to get my Certificate of Secondary Education from Cambridge. Even though I am yet to choose my future profession, I am planning to take Further Mathematics, Chinese and Economy classes. As the content of these classes are advanced, I might have to change my schedule by reducing the amount of time I spend practising the piano and swimming. I’m expecting to have a very busy schedule next year.

The oldest of my three younger siblings play the piano just like me. I want to make some time for my younger sister to coach her and keep my love for piano going on. My aim is to become a Prefect and Head Boy in Sixth Form, so I would like to contribute to the BSU community and help the younger students as much as I can.

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