The Kenya Scrabble Association has decried the lack of support from the ministry of sports ahead of the World scrabble championship in the USA later this year.
Speaking at Chef West Hotel in Busia during the national scrabble championship that attracted participants from Kenya, Uganda, Liberia and South Africa, the outgoing chairperson scrabble Kenya Bernard Amuke urged the government to support the national team to acquire visa and financial support to boost the morale of the team.
Kenya is the second best scrabbling team in Africa and has already earned respect on the international podium according to Amuke. It is in this spirit that the scrabble Kenya now believes investment in youth players will be key in spearheading the game internationally.
“In order for Kenya to dominate on the international forum we have to invest in our youth and more so schools. We have huge potential in the youth if we can tap and nature that talent at a tender age,”
Amuke noted that more scrabblers missed out on the national tournament in Gulu Uganda and this week’s national championship in Busia due to financial constraints as most rely on well-wishers to support the game.
“Nigeria have been African champions for the reason that they enjoy support from the government and also because they have invested in the school where they pick national teams,” added Amuke.
Richard Ngeria, senior scrabbler from Kampala who represented Uganda elite team, applauded the Kenya scrabble association for its commitment in introducing the rare game on East African in 1990 that has attracted a large following in recent days.
“Scrabble is a good game as it keeps one memory strong besides helping with numerical skills from calculating potential scores, and with critical thinking that can get you out of a tight situation. This is why we need to embrace scrabbling in schools,” noted Ngeria.
“You don’t have to be good at English. Even dropouts play scrabble. What matters is your ability to cram words and understand them,” said Ngeria adding that the ability to calculate words gives advantage to win the game.
Busia scrabble secretary Erick Wamalwa want schools collaborate with Scrabble Kenya to build national team at its best
“Scrabble can help students learn new words every time they play a round of scrabble. With every new word comes the opportunity to learn to spell better. Children that play Scrabble early on in life go on to be great spellers and good readers too,” Wamalwa.
Over 200 scrabble players are participating at this year’s national tournament that will end tomorrow where champions will be crowned.
Report by Absalom Namwalo, KNA BUSIA