The South-West Coordinator of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) Emmanuel Egbele has expressed strong optimism that players would use the various competitions organized in the zone to prepare well for the 2022 National Sports Festival scheduled for Asaba, Delta State in November.
He spoke against the background of the Emmanuel Egbele Annual Scrabble Tournament (EEAST) which would move into the scene early next month in Lagos as plans to make the sophomore edition a festival already activated.
Dokun Esan coveted the overall title of the well-attended maiden edition which is now a huge attraction for top scrabblers in the Masters, Intermediate, Opens, Students as well as the Veteran’s categories.
Recently, players converged in Lagos for the MSPL Matchday One as well as the Lekki Club Quarterly Retreat before heading to Ibadan, the Oyo state capital for the maiden IGP Scrabble tournament as well as the first South-West Closed championship which was held in late April.
Clubs in Ogun, Ekiti, and Ondo states also squeezed in some competitions for players to refine their mastery of the mind game in what appeared to be a very engaging calendar in the zone.
The new verve has also drawn students from tertiary institutions into the loop of intense competitions, giving coaches a larger pool of fresh talents for the challenges ahead, especially at the country’s Olympics, and National Sports Festival.
Taking stock after some busy scrabble schedule, Egbele said what he has witnessed so far was an indication that competition would be keen when the Festival gets under later in the year.
“My expectations were very well met and it can always get better,” he said.
“The South-West Closed championships is always an opportunity to hone your skills, to practice and improve. Considering the National Sports Festival coming up in November, these tournaments are also supposed to help players as part of preparations. You know,” he continued, “when we have tournaments like this, players who will be representing their states will be using this tournament for performance so that, when they get to the Festival, they will be able to take laurels back home.”
He said players’ yearning for competitions were being matched with different level of scrabble events with
tacit support from the state chairmen and other stakeholders.
He commended the NSF and the players for a dominant display at the recently concluded West Africa Scrabble Tournament (WAST) in Ghana where Nigeria took the first nine positions in the top 10 as Eta Karo emerged as the winner.