By Emem Idio, Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State Senator Douye Diri has been commended for his unquenchable love and commitment for sports development generally, and for endowing a tournament in his name with the hosting of the maiden edition of the Gov. Douye Diri National Scrabble Championship in Yenagoa.
The 1st Gov. Douye Diri National Scrabble Championship which began last Friday ended in Yenagoa, the State capital on Sunday on a note high and was graced by the Bayelsa State Governor Senator Douye Diri, represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the President of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation, Mallam Sulaiman Gora, as well as the former NSF President, Mr. Toke Aka.
The championship which was held at the Golden Tulip Resort in Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital drew nearly 300 persons who registered and participated in five categories namely, Masters, Intermediate, Veterans, Opens, and the Students, who were drawn from secondary schools in the state.
In his remarks at the closing, the Chairman of Bayelsa State Scrabble Association, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the acceptance of the governor to host the championship is a clear manifestation of his love for sports and determination to positively engage the youths in the state.
Alabrah who is also an aide to the Bayelsa state governor said Scrabble has the potentials to beam positive spotlights on the State of given the right motivation and support, noting that the State Scrabble team to the recent National Sports Festival in Edo State garnered eight (8) individual and team medals at the festival.
He said, “In the last three days, we have had the rare privilege of showcasing our state through a remarkable championship to the delight of the participants and officials.
“The Bayelsa State Scrabble Association and indeed the Nigerian Scrabble community are profusely grateful for the opportunity and the financial support that ensured the championship became a reality.
“As this tournament has shown, we can marry Scrabble with tourism to showcase the beauty of Bayelsa. It is, therefore, our hope and expectation that the next edition would be bigger and better supported. Regardless of the challenges, we still remain grateful to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri.
“I have no doubt that Scrabble has the potential to beam positive spotlights on our state, given the right motivation and support. A Bayelsan, Precious Igali, is currently rated Number 4 in the Masters’ category in Nigeria while another Bayelsan, Ben Quickpen, has represented Nigeria twice at the world championship. Quickpen is now Number 10 in the world.”
The championship was also attended by Scrabble greats and veterans including a former World Champion in the individual masters category Mr. Wellington Jighere, among others.
Vanguard News Nigeria