… as Team Liberia wins the Lonestar Cell MTN International Scrabble Competition
National Scrabble Association of Liberia (NSAL) has won the Lonestar Cell MTN International Scrabble Friendly against the National Scrabble Association of Sierra Leone (NSASL).
Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, G. Andy Quamie, said, “Liberia winning the tournament and dominating the competition is also a very good sign that we are making massive progress.”
Because of this, he said, “Scrabble will be included in this year’s National County Sports meet as a pilot project to see how it will be accepted and welcomed by Liberia.”
NSAL won the second round of the three-day competition 255 games to 139 at the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville over the Independence Day weekend. The Liberian team also won the first round in December 2020 in Sierra Leone.
The tournament saw the 24 players, 12 from each team, sitting over a game board forming words with lettered tiles on a 225 square board. Each lettered tile has a value. In addition, sections of the board enable players to double or triple scores. Players spell out words by placing letters on the board that interlocks like a crossword puzzle. The game requires players to think critically and have a good vocabulary.
With these achievements under his belt, NSAL’s new President, Lester Morris said that though he is excited about his 12-man team’s performance and included in the National County Sports Meet, there is more work to be done. He said his team must learn the contents of the Collins Dictionary, the one used in scrabble competitions around the world. But that’s not all.
“We plan to start an annual African Competition between the English-speaking countries of West Africa. In addition, we plan to introduce Scrabble to high school students in Liberia. We also encourage young girls to take part”, he said.
Mr. Morris believes the game itself is educational. It helps our children learn and grow their vocabulary.
“We intend to take this ordinary board game to a recognized sport in this country. The best way to do that is to make young people a part of this so they can develop the game further.”
Lonestar Cell MTN Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Lisa White said, “We sponsored this event because of our key strategic corporate social investment focus: youth empowerment. We seek to enhance competitiveness and drive inclusive growth. We believe the skills gained in playing Scrabble helps to meet this mission. We are happy to partner with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Scrabble Association on this important initiative now and in the future; particularly as we move the game into elementary and high schools in the region.”