Avwenagha Of Delta State Crowned Winner Of Maiden Governor Diri National Scrabble Championship
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By Alambo Datonye
Oshevire Avwenagha has emerged winner of the Masters category of the inaugural Governor Douye Diri National Scrabble Championship which ended last night in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The Delta State player recorded 11 wins with a plus 617 cumulative spread to win the trophy and 500 thousand Naira prize money.
Avwenagha who is ranked third in the country topped two other Delta State players, Eta Karo who is ranked second and finished in second position and Okiemute Tegha who came third, expressing elation over his achievement.
Raji Kazeem of Oyo State won the Intermediate category competition while Tariye Alari of Bayelsa was winner in the Opens event, just as Engineer Odion Osikada was the Veterans category champion.
The students title was sclinched by 16 year old Ikoko David of Federal Government College, Odi, Bayelsa State who edged 8 year old prodigy, Deborah Quickpen.
Others who won in respective categories were Tuoyo Mayuku, Akpos Malafakumo, and Priscillia Akabue.
Meanwhile,declaring the Championship close, Governor Douye Diri reiterated the commitment of the Bayelsa State government in using sports to develop the skills and talent of the youth.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, stated that Bayelsa has over the years recorded landmark achievements and contributed to sports development of the country.
Emphasizing the need to establish a Scrabble club in schools across the State to catch them young, he also used the event to vow that Bayelsa would challenge Delta and Edo States to top place at the 2022 National Sports Festival.
He stressed that scrabble which develops the mind of players would be accorded priority alongside other individual sports that earn multiple medals at major competitions such as the National Sports Festival and the Olympics.
Commissioner for Youth and Sport Development, Daniel Igali said the goal of the State government was to make Bayelsa the hub of sports in the country through the hosting of competitions.
President of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation, Suleiman Gora who expressed appreciation to Governor Douye Diri for sponsoring the championship, urged the State government to encourage the development of the game in schools across the State.
Chairman of the Bayelsa State Scrabble Association, Daniel Alabrah said Scrabble could be used as a veritable vehicle to positively promote the State.
Over 300 players participated in five categories: Masters, Intermediate, Open, Schools and Veterans in the three day maiden Governor Douye Diri National Scrabble Championship held at the Harold Dappa Biriye Conference Centre, Onopa, in the Bayelsa state capital with winners going home with trophies and cash prizes.