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Lower North Island Regional Spelling Bee Champion Crowned

Lower North Island Regional Spelling Bee Champion Crowned

Amanda Dharmasekhara, a year ten student from Newlands College is heading to the National Vegemite Spelling Bee Championship after winning the Wellington regional competition last night.

This talented wordsmith will be up against other regional champs vying for the title of 2013 New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee Champion, in Wellington on October 12.

Amanda correctly spelled the word 'narcissistic' in the final round to take first place. The three other finalists are Uma Sreedhar, a year ten student from Wellington Girls College who took second place after tripping up on the word 'sciatica'.

Fellow Wellington Girls College year nine student Jenny Whipps took third place after she incorrectly spelled the word 'deciduous' and there was a tough battle for fourth place between two year nine boys, Barnard Patel from Onslow College and Jotham Harris from Horowhenua College. They had four tie breaker rounds before Barnard mis-spelled 'thoracic' and Jotham correctly spelled 'auxilliary'.

There were 62 spellers in the Wellington Regional from as far away as Napier, Howowhenua, Masterton and the Kapiti Coast.

Event manager Janet Lucas says the spellers really impressed her with their orthography skills. She finds it rewarding to see the enthusiasm and energy students put into the Spelling Bee.

“It is a huge accomplishment to get this far in the competition,” says Janet. “A total of 208 spellers from around the country managed to successfully spell their way to one of the regional spelling bees and now our 16 finalists will be studying hard to become the national spelling bee champion in a couple of months time.”

All four finalists have won places at the Wellington-based New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee along with travel and accommodation to attend the event.

Whoever wins the 2013 final will be crowned New Zealand’s Vegemite Spelling Bee Champion, winning $5000 in cash along with the National Spelling Bee trophy.

The nation’s best spellers are taken from a pool of Year 9 and 10 students from across the country.

The New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee, sponsored by Vegemite and ZM, is administered by a charitable trust. Its purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage.


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