Hosts of the Governor Douye National Scrabble Championship have said that N5 million has been earmarked as total prize money for the second edition of the competition.
No fewer than 300 participants are expected at the Bayelsa State governor’s championship, which holds in Yenagoa, the state capital, on July 15-17.
The Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF)-sanctioned competition will feature five categories, namely Masters, Intermediate, Veterans, Opens and Students.
Chairman of the Bayelsa State Scrabble Association, Mr. Daniel Alabrah who confirmed this during a radio programme in Yenagoa said registration is free for Bayelsa-based secondary school students while the top female players in the different categories would get special prizes.
The BSSA chairman explained that the target of the free registration is to encourage the young ones to develop interest in the game and to be able to catch them young.
“Scrabble is a positive, transformative mind-builder that develops the intellect. If you are able to get the young ones to be interested in the game, this helps them grow intellectually and academically. We introduced this aspect last year and we are continuing it in this edition,” he said.
Alabrah, who is also the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, further stated that the winner of the Masters category will get half a million naira as the star prize.
He commended Diri for supporting the game to grow in the state and in the country, stressing that the Scrabble community in Nigeria was appreciative of his huge contribution to the development of the game and the youths in particular.
Top-rated Oshevire Avwenagha won the Masters category of the inaugural edition while Eta Karo came second ahead of Okiemute Tegha.
In the Intermediate category, Raji Kazeem picked the top prize while homeboy, Tariye Alari, was winner of the Opens event and Odion Osikada took the Veterans title.
Sixteen-year-old Ikoko David of Federal Government College, Odi, Bayelsa State, won in the Students category edging then 9-year-old prodigy and current Africa Under-10 chess champion, Deborah Quickpen, to the crown.