Etim Crowned Governor Douye Diri Scrabble Tournament Champion

Etim Crowned Governor Douye Diri Scrabble Tournament Champion

By Hananeel Jackson

Nsikak Etim became the new champion of the Masters category in the second edition of the Governor Douye Diri National Scrabble Championship which ended on Sunday night in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The Akwa Ibom born player recorded 12 wins at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall in the state capital of Bayelsa with an aggregate gap of over 1082 to win the trophy and the star prize of 500,000 Naira and the winner’s trophy.

Etim took over from Oshevire Avwenagha who won the inaugural edition with 11 wins with a cumulative 617 to win last year’s edition at Harold Dappa Biriye Conference Centre, Onopa.

Delta State’s Akoofure Orughele won the intermediate category while Jacob Jonah won the veteran category, just as Burogha Douglas of Bayelsa State was the open event champion.

There was also a new champion in the student event as another champion from Federal Government College Odi, Adeleke John, dethroned Ikoko David who won the category last year while young chess prodigies Deborah Quickpen and Sunshine Ekperi got consolation prizes.

Declaring the championship closed, Governor Douye Diri reiterated the state government’s commitment to using sport to fight crime as well as develop the skills and talent of young people.

The Governor, represented by the Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said Bayelsa was open to hosting more national sporting activities, noting that the state had recorded significant achievements in sports over the past two years.

He urged all winners to focus and not see their success as the ultimate goal, but aim to become world champions.

Youth and Sports Development Commissioner Daniel Igali congratulated all the winners for showing their skills in describing Bayelsa as the sports capital of Nigeria.

Igali noted that the state government’s aim was to make Bayelsa the hub of sport in the country by hosting national competitions.

President of the Scrabble Engr Federation. Toke Aka said that in the past eight years the federation has not witnessed what they experienced at Bayelsa this year, saying he was not surprised as the sport has become part of the state.

While commending the government for investing in sport, Engr. Aka noted that immediately after this year’s National Sports Festival, the Nigerian Scrabble Federation would hold its own festival which would last for three days and a club championship.

Furthermore, the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Scrabble Association, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, remarked that the Governor Diri Scrabble competition has become the biggest scrabble tournament in Nigeria, pointing out that the championship has given Bayelsa State the opportunity to produce young scrabble players for the country.

Alabrah explained that the introduction of the student category has generated interest which is reflected in the high number of participants in the centerpiece.

In an interview, masters category winner Nsikak Etim, a graduate of the University of Lagos, said he was delighted to have emerged victorious against his colleagues who included African champions.

He explained that he won the championship with a hydrocarbon word “Neoprene” which he said was decisive.

Around 272 scrabble players across the country competed in five categories: Masters, Intermediate, Open, Schools and Veterans during the two-day event which took place at DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Yenagoa, with the winners returning home them with trophies and cash prizes totaling five million naira.

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