By Chuah Sim Swee

Island College of Technology (ICT) added a new tournament to the Scrabble calendar for school goers in Penang in conjunction with its annual college Open Day. Starting from 2007, avid school-going Scrabble players aged eighteen and below from all over Penang have the chance to hone their scrabble playing skills in this competition and make new friends as well.

Boasting a beautiful solid pewter trophy sponsored by Y.B. Dato' Seri Haji Hilmi Yahaya and generous prizes, the inaugural tournament on 9th Marc h 2007 attracted 36 students from 18 schools in Penang Island and the mainland.

Competition was keen in the spacious library where it was held as new players quickly picked up the skills and rules with the help of Penang Scrabble Club members who were there to help run the competition. Two, three and four letter word lists were also provided to help new players throughout the five games.

At the end of game four, Ong Suanne (SMJK Perempuan China ) had jumped into the lead with four points and a spread of 1220. In the fifth and final game, Yeoh Eiu Jyn (SMK Bukit Mertajam) battled valiantly against Ong Suanne and quickly jumped a head to lead by over 160 points. Undaunted, Ong Suanne slowly reeled him in and finally won by just 39 points.

In the final standings, Ong Suanne (SMJK Perempuan China ) did her school proud by holding on to the first position while her schoolmates Hng Hsieh Zhen and Toh Sher Lynn were third and fourth respectively. Although Yeoh Eiu Jyn fell to fifth position after his disappointing lost to Ong Suanne, he was consoled by the fact that his elder sister, Yeoh Sue Ann who is also from SMK Bukit Mertajam, managed to clinch second place. It was heartening to note that the first five placings were awarded to members of Penang Scrabble Club. This bodes well for the club's efforts to train potential Scrabble champions of the future.

All the students who took part were awarded certificates of participation. Many teachers and students found this competition to be an eye-opener and were interested in improving the level of Scrabble playing skills in their schools. Penang Scrabble Club members on duty gave tips and advice and guided them to the proper channels to improve their games.

Prizes and incentives awarded by ICT are as follows


Incentives and Prizes


YB Dato’ Seri Sr. Hilmi Yahaya Challenge Trophy

+ RM300.00 + Trophy + Certificate of Achievement

Second RM200.00 + Trophy + Certificate of Achievement
Third RM100.00 + Certificate of Achievement
Fourth & Fifth RM25.00 + Certificate of Commendation

Kudos to ICT for holding the tournament successfully. Th  college hopes that by holding this annual Scrabble competition, it will help to promote and improve the use of English as well as thinking and other skills among students of all ages.