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Overcoming adversity: The story of Team Belize

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Team Belize

FIRST ® Robotics Competition Team

A rookie FIRST ® team has many challenges and opportunities during their first year. You are trying to navigate something brand new; recruiting members, fundraising, the list goes on and on! But what happens when something out of your control, like a natural disaster, puts all of your hard work in jeopardy? Read more to hear about how FIRST ® Robotics Competition team “Team Belize” pushed through every hurdle and made it to FIRST ® Championship!


In November of 2022, Hurricane Lisa hit the community of FIRST ® Robotics Competition Team 9244 and destroyed 75% of Belize High School. True to their persevering team spirit, students and parents helped clean up campus and created makeshift teaching spaces. This allowed the team to get through build season and finish their robot.

After intense troubleshooting and teamwork, the team arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for their regional competition but unfortunately their robot was stuck in customs. The team used a kit robot that was lent to them and spent an entire day building and testing this new bot for competition the following day. Thankfully, their original robot was eventually cleared by customs – just in time; in the end, they were able to compete with their original robot and earn a spot at the 2023 FIRST ® Championship presented by BAE Systems in Houston.

Following their regional competition, the team had only nine days to fundraise the registration fee, hotel, and airline tickets needed to attend FIRST Championship. The Belize community ran a historic fundraising drive that allowed for seven of the 15 team members to attend the event, proving that not even a hurricane can stop the Belize FIRST community from following their dreams.

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