…When sustained other major games will key in as PANASA eyes Commonwealth Games
By Maxwell Kumoye
The President of Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), Engineer Toke Aka says the inclusion of the game of scrabble as one of the seven demonstration sports at the forthcoming All Africa Games in Legon, Ghana is the right step in the right direction.
Aka, told newsmen on Friday that the addition of scrabble to the All Africa Games will go a long way in accelerating the growth of the game across all the English and French speaking countries on the continent.
“At the world level, a good number of African countries are making waves in the individual and team event in the game of scrabble. At the last World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, four African wordsmith were in the top 20.” Aka said.
He went on to state that, the game is firmly rooted in over thirty countries in Africa and in 2015 , a Nigerian Wellington Jighere won the World Championship and eight years later he also won the prestigious North America Scrabble Players Association Championship.
“We have been organizing African Championships since 1994, we also have regional Championships in English and French scrabble, so joining the All Africa Games family will open up the sport. The former PANASA President added.
Currently Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Cameroon and Botswana are rocking the game in secondary schools, universities and as semi professional.
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the All Africa Games, Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC) gave it’s blessing for Scrabble to be a non medal scoring event at the 13th All Africa Games scheduled to hold between the 8th and 23rd of March next year in Ghana.
The Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA), had made a presentation for scrabble to be added in the Games during the Trophy Tour of Pan African Youth Scrabble Championship in May in Accra the Ghanaian capital.
PANASA President, Adekoyejo Adegbesan, the President of Scrabble Association of Ghana (SCAG), Haruna Adamu, the Scribe for SCAG Christie Ashley as well as all the Association members of PANASA helped made this a dream come through.
The LOC chaired by Dr Kwaku Ofosu Asare says the approval covers both the French and English-speaking scrabble playing countries.
President of PANASA Adekoyejo Adegbesan who broke the news to the media, appreciated the solid efforts of Ghana’s Minister of Sports Honourable Mustapha Ussif in making the inclusion of scrabble into Africa’s biggest multiple sports games a reality.
Adegbesan stated that PANASA will work hand-in-hand with the World English Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA), in it’s quest to get scrabble into the Commonwealth Games.
At the last World Scrabble Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, over twenty Commonwealth countries were in attendance.
“The next steps will be the Commonwealth, so we will need to put up a good show next March in Legon when the games come to Ghana.” He stressed.
The demonstration sports at the 13th All African Games are:
✓ MIXED MARTIAL ARTS