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Friday, July 25, 2003

Reaching out to schools

By WONG SIANG HUME

SCRABBLE to School is a project designed to bring the game in a big way to schools in the country. Organised by the Malaysian Scrabble Masters in collaboration with the Malaysian Scrabble Association (MSA) and Mattel Southeast Asia, it has already started its clinics and competitions and will continue with this programme for the remainder of the year and, if possible, in 2004 and beyond. 

Special project director Michael Wong said that, so far, the response from schools has been encouraging. All the states' workshops and competitions, in both the Under-15 and Under-18 categories held so far, have been successful. The first clinic was held at Institute Megatech, Klang, Selangor. This was followed by a tournament on June 11 at the same venue. There was also an official launching of the project in Sungai Petani, Kedah, together with a Scrabble workshop for the teachers and students of that district. 

The organising team held a workshop at Kolej TAFE in Seremban, on July 11. The State Assemblyman for Sirusa, E.M. Yohevel, officiated at the event which also included a Scrabble tourney. About a week later, on July 19, a Scrabble workshop was held at Kolej Hillciti, in Ipoh.  

Scrabble then went to St Francis Institution in Malacca, to the delight of Brother Ambrose Loke, the director of the famous school. He said that it was the first time the school had tasted the word game at a competitive level. In spite of the short notice, he managed to help the project members set up everything for both the clinic and competition. Both categories (Under-15 & Under-18) were contested, and the organisers were happy that childrenfrom the historical state enjoyed themselves.  

There will be two Scrabble clinics tomorrow: one at St John's Institution, Jalan Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur, at 9am and the other at Sek Men La Salle Petaling Jaya, Jalan Cantek, Petaling Jaya, at 3pm. The Selangor Scrabble Tournament will be held at the latter. The Wilayah (KL) Tourney will be held at St John's Institution the following day. Both tournaments begin at 9am and are open to all schools in the country.  

Wong said that schoolchildren should take advantage of the 4th Malaysian National Junior Scrabble Championship (MNJSC) which will be held on Sept 2and 3. He hopes that all schools will send their representatives (at least one team of four for either one or both the Under-15 and Under-18 categories of the tourney).  

Schools which are new to Scrabble tournaments may request, through their teacher advisers and principals, to participate in MNJSC by writing to: the Malaysian Scrabble Association, Suite 4.6 Level 4 (Retail Centre), PNB Darby Park Hotel, 10 Jalan Binjai, 50450, Kuala Lumpur. 

Results of 4th leg  

Ganesh Asirvatham (champion), Andy Kurnia, Tony Sim, Kong Chock Heng, John Lam, Pui Cheng Wui, Aaron Chong, Tan Jin Chor, Tengku Asri Abdullah, and in 10th place, Jocelyn Lor. 

Third individual title 

Ng Peng San, a Form Three student from St John’s Institution, KL, won his third junior title at the competition for schools at the inter-school Scrabble competition at SMK Desa Perdana, KL, on July 12. The cheerful lad was champion in the Under-15 category where 16 players took part. His four-student team also won the team championship title, holding off the challenge of the hosts who also took part in the Under-18 along with Victoria Institution, KL, SMK Seri Hartamas, KL, and SMK Taman Desa, Selangor. The computer buff, who will be sitting the PMR examination in October, said that Scrabble is his hobby and it is not a problem for him to concentrate on two things at the same time. Ng, who also emerged winner at the St John's Institution Scrabble Competition last year, is looking forward to defending his under-15 junior title at MNJSC.




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