Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Rajive's fifth time the charm

Published:Monday | October 9, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Rajive Campbell, St Jago High
Spellmaster Jean-Paul Menou with Rajive Campbell.
Shashane Dunn and Dechari Brooks of Top Jackson Primary enjoy their soda and hot dog, courtesy of WISYNCO and Best Dress Chicken. Both brands are sponsors of the Spelling Bee competition.
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Spanish Town, St Catherine:

Top Bees

1. Rajive Campbell, St Jago High

2. Israel Burnett, McAuley Primary

3. Peter-John Murray, Hydel High

4.Chrishawn Green, Naggo Head Primary

5. Armani Dyer, Home Schooled

Top boy: Rajive Campbell, St Jago High

Top girl: Britania Pearson, Greater Portmore Primary

Winning word: V-E-N-A-L

Coach: Gifton Wright Jnr

Number of spellers: 59

About the champ

This is Rajive's fifth time entering the competition and his first win. At the spelldown last year, he missed out on the top ten when he was eliminated in 11th place.

He has been preparing for over a year, and his parents supported him through it all. He shares that he missed having fun over the summer, but he wanted to win, so he made sure to put in the work, which he says is the reason for his win.

The 12-year-old is in grade eight and is a part of the Music and Quiz Clubs at his school. He likes to read, play football and video games. His favourite video game is FIFA 16. Though he says he is not a comedian, he loves to make people laugh.

Rajive on winning

"I feel good because I was working very hard and I didn't want to lose."

Coach on winning

"I am surprised, because this is my first time coaching. But I knew he had the drive and the spirit."

Wright Jnr is not a stranger to the competition as he was parish champion for Kingston in 2012, and represented Jamaica at the Scripps Howard Spelling Bee Competition (now Scripps National Spelling Bee), where he finished 4th.