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Young Thais praised by local government as they prepare for World Scrabble Championships

Lifestyle

Young Thais praised by local government as they prepare for World Scrabble Championships

Young Thais praised by local government as they prepare for World Scrabble Championships

Young people throughout the world are practicing hard and preparing themselves for the greatest Scrabble showdown of them all at the end of this month. The MSI World Youth Scrabble Championships that will be held in Lille, France.

And the countryside of Thailand is no exception with a number of very talented players who will be travelling to Europe for the showpiece event.

Many have been training hard at an innovative academy set up by top Thai expert Akkarapol Kwansak in the north eastern gateway province of Nakorn Rachasima.

He has made a business out of training children of all ages for top level Scrabble competition and four of his proteges will be in Lille. Two have studied at his Scrabboard Academy and two have been learning with him online in preparation for the big event.

And on Friday came a great honour – the governor of the province Wichian Jantaranothai summoned Akkrapol to the municipal headquarters to honor him and his students for the great work that they are doing.

The story follows last week’s news that the education secretary is determined to raise English standards in the kingdom. Scrabble is very popular in Thailand and this is one way that the language is being promoted among children.

Said a proud Akkarapol: “The Governor handed out certificates to those who have brought honor to the province who are all products of my academy”.

Among those singled out for special mention were two students who got second and fifth places in the ASTAR event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in April, the north eastern Thailand primary and secondary level champions, the primary and secondary winners at the King’s Cup in Bangkok last month and the representatives who will travel to Lille. No wonder Akkarapol is upbeat with so many champions coming out of his training programs.

He has produced many unique training resources to get children as young as six interested in the game. His teaching materials are professionally graded and parents are queuing up to get their children into his school.

But it is not just business, Akkarapol is giving back to the community from the game that has given him so much:

“I was just a boy in the countryside. My life changed after I started playing crossword (how he refers to Scrabble). I got a place in university because they had a quota for youngsters who excelled at
Scrabble.

“Today I would like to return the opportunity to anybody who loves to play this game as I hope there is somebody who will do the same thing as me.

“I love to give ……giving is endless”.

Akkarapol plans to give free lessons at his downtown academy to poor students who have a lack of opportunity in the Thai villages but who show an aptitude for the game.

For the full story and other pictures visit www.mindsportsacademy.com

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