Recently I attended a spelling bee competition. I did not realize how difficult the contest was until I saw it for myself.
The local paper – New Straits Times and a local bank organized a nation wide competition for the schools to see who is the best pupil in spelling nation wide. This is the five year for this competition. I would not have attended it if my son was not one of the participants.
I realize that such events takes a lot of time and resources to arrange. This is more so when you need to go from state to state. Penang had the most participants – more than 210 students registered for the primary school event itself (a few did not turn up). I am not sure how many pariticipnts registered for the secondary school event.
Here you can see the stage where the participants had to be. Each partipant had 20 minutes to spell the word (the time includes time by the present to say and explain the word.
The judges are seated in front where they had a good view of the students.
Participants and their guardians and supporters arrived early (before 8 am). Registration only started around 10 and went on until 11 am.
Registration was done either individually or through the school:
The whole event was recorded to be televised later (in September) on national t.v. Here you could see the camera crew doing final checking and adjustment on the lighting.
There were a few flat screen t.v. to provide better view for those who were either too far or behind the pillar.
Here are the participants:
And their supporters:
At the begining, there were many supporters but as members of their family were eliminated, the crowd grew thinner. Toward the end there were only a handful of supporters left. Some of the finalist could be seen below. Each took turn, headphone covering the ear and microphone in front.
I was pretty impressed because many of the words given were not common and here you have primary schools students able to spell them. More impressive was for many of the participants, this was their first public exposure. I wonder how many of them had to overcome their stage fright and still remember to spell.
My son managed to reach the final round in our state and I am very proud of him. It was quite an accomplishment.
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