North

13-year-old Whitehorse geography whiz represents Yukon at national competition

Christopher Blakesley is representing the territory at this year’s Canadian Geographic Challenge this weekend in Ottawa, where 20 top finalists will compete for the national title.

'It’ll be my first time doing this kinda thing really far away from the Yukon,' says Christopher Blakesley

Love for geography runs in Christopher Blakesley's family — Blakesley’s brother represented the school when he was in Grade 7. (Meagan Deuling/CBC)

Whitehorse's Christopher Blakesley is a 13-year-old geography whiz.

He's representing the territory at this year's Canadian Geographic Challenge this weekend, where 20 top finalists will compete for the national title in Ottawa.

"I like the evolution of maps, how some countries had land before, and now it's [another] country," said Blakesley, a Grade 7 student at Christ the King elementary school. "It shows how the world works."     

Knowing where countries are on the map helps understand why things are happening in the world, he said.

To snag Yukon's top competitor title, Blakesley beat out all of the seventh graders in his school with the top score. He was then chosen to take the provincial and territorial quiz, "and then it's kinda gone from there," he said.

"I'm feeling kinda nervous because it will the first time without having my mom or dad near, and it'll be my first time doing this kinda thing really far away from the Yukon," Blakesley said. 

Blakesley has been preparing by doing practice quizzes online, and through studying.

Christopher Blakesley will be competing for a national geography title. (Submitted by Simon Blakesley)
 "I've been reading all the country profiles and my atlas, and just looking at maps."

Love for geography runs in the Blakesley family — Christopher's older brother represented the school when he was in Grade 7.

"I wanted to be better than him," Blakesley said.

On Saturday, contestants will do a written test, followed by geographical field work on Sunday. On Monday, the top five will participate in a game-show style competition where the winner will be crowned.

With files from Meagan Deuling

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