Muscat: SPAR Oman Kellogg’s Youth and Open Scrabble Tournament was held at the American British Academy over the weekend, with adults and children in attendance.
Begun by Megel Barker, an expert level Scrabble player in Oman, the tournament had over 70 participants. It was supervised by Karen Richards, organiser of the World Youth Scrabble Championship.
“I had this idea to organise a tournament, and when I approached SPAR and explained to them the vision for scrabble in Oman, they instantly felt it was a good partnership. Karen and Paul from the Royal Scrabble Association were coming to Qatar, so I asked them if they would come to Oman, as well, and they agreed,” said Barker.
“We had many people play for the first time here, but they learnt a lot and made new friends. Here everyone was playing, having fun and there were no phones and computers here. So it showed there was a lot of interest for mind sports in Oman.
“In the long-term, we hope to develop an interschool competition and, hopefully, we will have more competitions coming, along with monthly tournaments for kids and adults, and we will eventually develop a scrabble club. That’s the vision. We also hope to organise two big events like these in one year, so that this can become world-rated.
“I also thank Times of Oman, who was our media sponsor, and from where most people learned about this tournament,” said Barker.
“I came to know about the competition from my mother. She took part and came in fourth. My sister also took part and did well, but I won. It’s my second time playing Scrabble, though the first time was many years ago. This was a long day, but it was fun,” said the winner of the teenage category.
Ridhi Singh and Shehrebanoo Bookwala played in the junior’s category.
“We had a lot of fun playing scrabble, although we did get a little tired towards the end, but it was still a great experience and we look forward to more tournaments,” they said.