A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl from Basingstoke has been declared one of the 10 winners of a national abacus maths challenge.

Nainika Manjunath, who attends Old Basing Infant School, won the challenge held by the British Youth International College (BYITC) because of her incredible mental arithmetic skills.

After Nainika won the level one prize in the competition, her parents said they are thrilled that their daughter has been recognised.

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Her mother, Pragnya Reddy, said: “We are really pleased that Nainika has been rewarded for her hard work at Supermaths through this challenge.

“She used to struggle with simple arithmetic, but since starting abacus maths training, we have noticed such a big difference. Nainika is more focused and confident when calculating difficult sums now – and best of all, she has fun while doing it.

“Taking part in the national challenge alongside her Supermaths classmates and being awarded one of the top prizes has made Nainika even more excited to continue learning.”

Nainka was one of four English-based winners with the remaining six all from the greater Glasgow area.

First launched in February 2022, the most recent national maths challenge in September marked the second iteration of the competition organised for BYITC Supermaths students across the UK.

The first-of-its-kind challenge is based on the school’s abacus maths instruction. The top performers across each of ten levels are awarded certificates and prizes for their impressive arithmetic skills.

The national maths challenge is aimed at children aged four to 14. Students take part online, completing a series of fun quizzes, mental arithmetic problems, and numerical reasoning questions to test the skills they have honed through abacus maths tuition.

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BYITC’s founder Dr Rashmi Mantri, said: “The national abacus maths challenge was created to identify, assess and celebrate students who show extraordinary abacus maths skills.

“We know that working on arithmetic problems alone can be monotonous, so we have introduced a competitive element so that students can improve their analytical skills in a more dynamic way.”

Kids are taught to calculate sums by visualising an Abacus board and use their fingers to manipulate imaginary beads. BYITC claims this not only allows them to do rapid mental arithmetic, but also stimulates cognitive development, improves memory and focus, and develops problem-solving skills.