Schoolchildren Scrabble for positions

Lucy Matehaere (10), a pupil at George St Normal School, makes a move under the watchful eye of Dunedin great-grandmother Daisy Madden in the Dunedin Central Library yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Lucy Matehaere (10), a pupil at George St Normal School, makes a move under the watchful eye of Dunedin great-grandmother Daisy Madden in the Dunedin Central Library yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A war of words broke out in the Dunedin Central Library yesterday.

More than 150 Dunedin schoolchildren took part in a Scrabble competition to help select a New Zealand youth team to take part in the world championships in Manila, Philippines, in December.

Monitoring their progress was World English Language Scrabble Players Association youth committee chairwoman Karen Richards, of New South Wales, Australia.

"One of the best aspects of Scrabble is it teaches kids to extend themselves. There's English, maths, problem-solving, logic, memory training and strategy in the game," she said.

"I think, universally, a child who is intelligent wants to extend themselves and compete with similar kids and adults.

"It's also a truly global game. Thailand uses it to help their kids learn English. The Thais are the best in the world at Scrabble and have the current world champion."

The game could have a powerful influence on children's education, Dunedin Scrabble Club treasurer Michael Groffman said.

"I think, historically, the value of Scrabble has been underappreciated."

Lucy Matehaere, a pupil at George St Normal School, had different words for it.

"I like how it makes you use your brain and your memory," she said.

"And it's fun."

nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

 

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