The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee Championship for 2013 will be held on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, starting at 9 a.m. Below are features on two of the parish champions.
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
BROWN'S TOWN, St Ann:
IF CONFIDENCE were all it took to win the Spelling Bee contest, then St Ann champion Amoya Minto would win hands down.
"I think that I'm going to win and represent Jamaica in Washington DC," the 13-year-old St Hilda's High School grade-eight student told The Gleaner when asked how confident she was, heading into the national finals.
"I have faith and I am studying really hard," Amoya explained.
Studying hard means spending around two hours each evening with her coach, Karen Lothian and making use of every little spare time she finds, such as during break and lunch, while at school, and after doing her homework. Then there is the encouragement factor from those around her.
"My friends, my parents, most of my family members, my coach, my subject teachers, most persons who know me are pushing me, encouraging me to do my best," Amoya said.
She added: "The experience has been very good so far. I have grown in self-confidence, I have developed higher self-esteem and it has helped me in two subject areas - English language and English literature."
A PROUD FEELING
Amoya said she felt proud at winning the parish crown on this her third attempt, after finishing third and fourth in the last two years, while emerging as champion girl on both occasions.
Amoya's coach is just as confident as she is.
"Once Amoya puts her mind to it, I know that she can do it," Lothian said
And even if she doesn't win the national title as the team expects, she would still have done well, she explained.
"She is very prepared, very focused I know that she will come up."
Both student and coach believe they are on track to peak at the right time - in the finals.
"We're doing what we can, she's very focused and I have no doubt she can win," Lothian said.