A 12-year old Ruth Ejims of Shalom College, Port Harcourt was on Friday April 22 declared the winner of 2016 National Spelling Bee Competition, defeating other 49 finalists to emerge the winner of the annual spelling context organized by Young Educators Foundation which was held at NECA hall, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
The sponsor of the event, Beta Malt, one of Nigeria’s leading malt drink from the stable of Sabmiller Plc has rewarded the winner with a year scholarship, to get supply of Beta Malt for one year with a cash gift of N200,000 and to become the brand ambassador for the next one year. She will also be a guest at the Scripps Spelling Bee Competition finals in USA in May.
Speaking at the event, Brand Manager of Beta Malt, Mrs. Olayinka Ajala, said the gesture is to encourage young scholars to improve on their knowledge and the use of English Language, by providing a platform for competitiveness as the only authentic avenue to educational excellence.
‘’This initiative is in line with the positioning and aspiration of the Beta Malt brand as it seeks to promote the mental and physical development of our teen consumers. As leading business entity in the south west, we are proud to be associated with a programme that encourages better use and appreciation of the English Language for the development of our youths’’, she said.
In her remarks, Mrs. Eugenia Tachie-Menson, Country Director of Spelling Bee Nigeria said “Spelling Bee Competition Nigeria designed to better the lives of children through literacy, as well as champion the cause of education.
‘’We are impressed by the capacity and conduct of Spellers this year. More importantly we are glad that the process was transparent and the winner is indeed deserving of the victory she earned. My sincere appreciation goes to the parents, proprietors and teachers for their co-operation. ‘’
She added that, ‘’This whole event would not have been possible without the support of our main sponsor Beta Malt, and partners like Pearson Education, Virgin Atlantic, Villa Picasso, Skye Bank and De Meros Hotels & Suites.’’
In her response, Spelling Bee 2016 Winner, Ruth Ejims, said, “Honestly, I am most grateful to God. I still can’t believe I won.” I never thought I would win. I am in shock. I thank God, my parents, my school, my teachers and the organizers.
Other winners are: Tirenioluwa Deborah Adedipe of the Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State came second while Daniel Ogwara of Aladunmo International School, Portharcourt, Rivers State came third.
The Spelling Bee Competition organized by the Young Educators Foundation franchise owners of Scripp National Spelling Bee Competition, USA, is indeed an asset not just to the students in Nigeria but to the teachers of participating schools, as they were privileged to get trained particularly in diction, pronunciation, tenses as well as origin of words.