News Release

Students Win Prestigious Cisco Networking Competition

Contestants From More Than 40 Countries Competed Simultaneously in a Virtual Competition to Win Five US Study Trips Sponsored by Cisco
Jul 07, 2009

LONDON, July 7, 2009 — Cisco today announced that the following students have won the prestigious Internet networking competition 'International NetRiders', which was held across Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), as well as Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS):

Overall top male score: Andraz Piletic, Slovenia
Overall top female score: Marie Claire Fonk, Malta
Europe winner: Nicolas Rolans, Belgium
CEE, Russia/CIS winner: Martin Danko, Czech Republic
MEA winner: Chrispin Mwakidisa, Kenya

Key Facts / Highlights

  • The International NetRiders contest, held for the second year, took place on July 1 in real time across multiple time zones, from Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom.
  • The competition combined a one-hour multiple-choice quiz and practical networking tasks using Packet Tracer network simulation software. 
  • The 117 finalists were selected through national heats and information technology (IT)-skills contests organized by the Cisco® Networking Academy® in each of the 41 countries taking part in the competition, with only the top three from each nation going through to the final.
  • The five winners include the top male scorer overall, the top female scorer overall, and the top scorer from each of the three main geographic areas taking part: Western Europe; the Middle East and Africa; and  CEE, Russia and the CIS.
  • The five students will join winners from other NetRiders competitions around the world for a one-week study tour in California in January 2010. They will spend a working week at Cisco headquarters in San Jose; meet with senior executives, systems engineers, and experts from Cisco and other IT organisations; and experience the Californian lifestyle with trips to San Francisco and Stanford University.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Penny Bradley, student advocacy manager for the Networking Academy in European and Emerging Markets
  • "We acknowledge the value of skills contests.  NetRiders enables us to test knowledge, motivate students, recognise talent and reward achievement."

  • Thierry Drilhon, vice president Europe, Worldwide Channels, Cisco
  • "Despite the global economic downturn, our Cisco partners are telling us that there is a continuing need for skilled individuals to fill job openings within their organizations. Skills contests such as NetRiders provide a great opportunity to identify top talents for recruitment."

  • Csilla Bessenyei, one of the winners from last year's contest, said of her January 2009 visit, "We couldn't get this experience anywhere else."  Pavel Stefanov, another winner, added, "It was the experience of a lifetime."

Tags, Keywords: Cisco, Cisco Networking Academy, e-learning

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About Cisco Networking Academy

Launched in 1997, Cisco Networking Academy is a partnership between Cisco, education, business, government and community organizations around the world, aimed at nurturing IT professionals. The education programme employs an e-learning model, using a combination of Web-based and instructor-led training along with a hands-on lab environment to teach students how to design, build and maintain computer networks. Worldwide, more than 2 million students have graduated from a total of approximately 10,000 academies in more than 165 countries.