Two major historic scrabble events begins today in Lekki-Lagos

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…His Excellency Jeremiah Lomorukai Napotikan to declare both Championships open
…Nine rounds of games to be decided on Day 1 at PANASA’s President’s Cup
By Maxwell Kumoye and Mishael Emmanuel

The eagerly anticipated inaugural editions of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President’s Cup (PPC) and the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC) begins this Thursday morning at the Orchid Hotel, Ikota-Lekki and the Chrisland School also in Lekki, Lagos State, South West, Nigeria.

Over 225 players from Africa and America are competing for honours at the twin events that will last for four days. Players from countries such as Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, The Gambia, Uganda, United States of America and host Nigeria will feature at the events.

The PANASA President’s Cup (PPC) is an elite one category event open to scrabble players across the globe while the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC) is reserved for young players in Africa who are 19 years and under, with two categories to compete for, U-15 and U-19.

The governor of Turkana County Province of Kenya, His Excellency Jeremiah Ekamais Lomorukai Napotikan who is the special guest of honour will declare both Championships open beginning with the President’s Cup by 8am and the African Youth Scrabble Championship by 10am all within the Lekki axis of Lagos State.

The governor on arrival paid a courtesy visit to the Oba Oniru of Iruland, His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II and he also visited a frontline Pan African educationist, Dr. Mrs. Winifred Awosika, the founder of the famous and prestigious Chrisland Schools.

32,000 dollars is the prize money pool for the President’s Cup and 9,000 dollars has been set aside as prize money for the African Youth Scrabble Championship. The AYSC have lots of spot prizes and gift items ranging from Laptops to tablets and smart phones for the participants.

On Saturday, after two scheduled rounds of games, the visiting young players will go on an exscution to landmark locations in the city of Aquatic Splendor like National Museum, Lekki Conservation Park, Kalakuta Museum, Nike Arts Gallery and do some shopping too.

In a bid to encourage more female participation in the game of Scrabble, the Continental Governing Body of the game of words has ear marked special prizes for the best female at the end of the challenging and grueling competition the will last for four days with 25 rounds of games.

In addition to the individual prizes, the top team will smile home with 1000 dollars. A team at the President’s Cup is made up of at least three players from the same country and it’s limited to only the African countries at the championship.

The winner of the President’s Cup will get 5,000 dollars and the Gbenga Ojofeitimi trophy, SM Quartey trophy will be handed to the second prize winner and a cash prize of 2,500 dollars and 1,700 dollars and the Ojior Osikhena trophy goes to the third best player.

Nine rounds of games will be played on Day 1 of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President’s Cup and the games starts 9am, each player has 25 minutes per round of game. It’s both PANASA and WESPA rated and their rules applies in this Championship. 2021 Collins Scrabble Words Dictionary is the reference material for the tournament.

Former African champion and winner of the Engineer Toke Aka National Jubilee Championship, Nsikak Etim is the President’s Cup number one seed, West Africa Scrabble champion and holder of the NSF Green Jacket Eta Karo is the second seed while Health Education student of the University of Lagos who is also the winner of third edition of Governor Douye Diri national championship, Enoch Nwali completes the top three.

The highest ranked foreign player in the 135 man strong field that include 8 ladies is Kenya’s Allan Oyende at number 8 and Gitonga Nderitu another Kenyan at 15th while Uganda’s Edgar Odongkara is at number 20.

Ogun State born coach and player Bukunmi Afolayan who is also into music is the highest ranked female participant at number 40.

Kenya with 13 players has the largest contingent outside the host nation, Nigeria. Uganda is in Lagos for the President’s Cup will 11 players, 10 are from Liberia and Ghana the next host of the event are in town with a 7 man strong team.

Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia and the United States of America are represented by one wordsmith each at the President’s Cup (PPC) taking place at the serine and classy Orchid Hotel Ikota-Lekki in Lagos.

The top 20:

1 2353 NGA Nsikak Etim
2 2247 NGA Eta Karo
3 2209 NGA Enoch Nwali
4 2208 NGA Godwin Victor
5 2207 NGA Wellington Jighere
6 2188 NGA Dojo Oluwatimilehin
7 2150 NGA Emmanuel Umujose
8 2147 KEN Allan Oyende
9 2140 NGA John Aiyedun
10 2133 NGA Dennis Ikekeregor
11 2067 NGA Cyril Umebiye
12 2058 NGA Hakeem Olaribigbe
13 2048 NGA James Ewruje
14 2032 NGA Ezinore George
15 2029 KEN Gitonga Nderitu
16 2025 NGA Abiola Adegbola
17 2017 NGA Precious Igali
18 1999 NGA Olumide Oyejide
19 1955 NGA Anthony Ikolo
20 1992 UGA Edgar Odongkara

Six rounds of games will be decided in the African Youth Scrabble Championship on Day 1. 24 rounds of games will be played over four days of competition at the AYSC holding at the prestigious Chrisland School Lekki.

In the U-19 category, nine Kenyans and twenty four Nigerians will be viaing for the top prize while three countries, host Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda are represented in the U-15 event, twelve Kenyans, three Ugandans and forty six Nigerians that includes 8 year old scrabble wiz kid, Saviour Onazi.

The Scrabble feast will be brought to a befitting end on Sunday with the first PANASA Awards and Gala Night starting 7pm Nigerian time. During the Gala Night. PANASA will unwrap the details of the next host of the President’s Cup, the African Youth Scrabble Championship and the dates for the African Scrabble Championship to be hosted by Sierra Leone next year among other plans and programs of the continental body of Scrabble.

The Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President’s Cup (PPC) and the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC) holding between the 24th and 28th of this month have enjoyed huge corporate and individual backing.

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