Scrabble casts a spell in Muscat

Report from Oman

Scrabble wordsmiths from across the Gulf displayed exceptional word power at the SPAR OMAN Kellogg’s Youth and Open Scrabble Tournament held at the American British Academy in Al Khuwair, Muscat, Oman on December 1, 2017. With participants from Qatar and Kuwait, this event in its second staging is fast becoming a fixture on the regional Gulf calendar.

Tournament Organizer Megel Barker, a Jamaican-British Mathematics educator and Assistant Principal at ABA, was obviously pleased with the positive turnout for the second staging of the Scrabble tournament he founded in 2016. “It is pleasing that Scrabble in Oman is proving attractive to youth players from around the Gulf region”, he mused, “we had over 70 participants this year clearly demonstrating the tremendous potential for competitive scrabble in Muscat. Hopefully, this enthusiasm leads to more young children quenching their thirst for words, while building their vocabulary and improving their time management in the process.”

In the Teenagers’ division, Ushara De Silva placed first, Inuri De Silva was second and Vimuthki Ashen placed third. The Juniors’ category was won by Dulmini Weeratne, with Janidu De Silva, in second place, and Hasini Perera nabbed third place. For the Young Juniors’ the winner was Vershnil Weeratne, second place was Zaina Zarook and third was Sethmi Thanthrige.

The WESPA – rated Masters competition which had 17 competitors vying for the coveted Oman Open Scrabble Champions Trophy was conducted simultaneously. The winner was Megel Barker, with second place going to Sanath Hemachandra, and third place to Paul Richards, last years’ champion.

Megel observed that “It was a total team effort, from the sponsors SPAR OMAN and Kellogg’s who never wavered in their full commitment, to William Fullerton and Sangeetha Hemachandra who were tournament directors for the different divisions as well as the parents and participants who attended the event and helped when required. Everyone pulled together to achieve a fantastic day of scrabble in Oman."

On his magnificent victory in the Masters competition, he was quite philosophical. “For me this tournament is the fulfillment of a dream, while winning this trophy is gratifying since I finished third last year so it shows I have improved my game, most satisfying was the overwhelming response from the wider community for this event. It shows that Scrabble with the right corporate support can bring people together.”

Teenager Division prize winner photo

Oman Open Scrabble Champions Tournament Prize winners