British Columbia

Spelling Bee students prepare for regional competition

B.C. students are preparing for stiff competition at today's regional Spelling Bee of Canada Championships.

"I really want to win and get a big trophy," says Spelling Bee participant

161 students competed for a chance to qualify for Saturday's regional Spelling Bee of Canada championships. (Elaine Chau/CBC)

B.C. students are preparing for Saturday's regional Spelling Bee of Canada championships. While the competition is tough, none of the participants seemed too worried. 

"I'm eight-years-old and I'm in Grade 4. I skipped a grade so I think I can win this," said Ekjot Bhatia. 

He was among 161 primary students competing for one of the 30 qualifying spots. 

Participants have been preparing for months and in some interesting ways. 

"Skittle spelling! If I get a word wrong mom gets to eat the Skittles," said eight-year-old Sydney Shirran, who travelled with her mother from Campbell River to compete. 

'Win a big trophy'

The students didn't shy away from sharing their motivations for competing. 

"I really want to win badly and win a big trophy and impress my dad," said seven-year-old Afsana Dosanjh. 

7-year-old Afsana Dosanjh is seen here with her parents Kal and Sandy Dosanjh. (Elaine Chau/CBC)

For Bhatia it was more about the prize money, "I will go straight to Toys "R" Us and go find something good and buy it."

He and other competitors will take to the stage in front an auditorium full of proud parents. 

Ekjot Bhatia seen here with his father Jas Bhatia. He says he is going straight to Toys "R" Us, if he wins. (Elaine Chau/CBC)

"It is not just about spelling, it is about character building," said Jas Bhatia. "How to be patient, wait for their turn and if they spell it wrong to cheer for their friends." 

"I'm extremely proud," said Kal Dosanjh. "But more importantly, competition of this nature is positive because it lets them explore more avenues of themselves and shows the result of that commitment."

With files from the CBC's The Early Edition and Elaine Chau

To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Spelling Bee students prepare for regional competition


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