Screen_Shot_2015-02-10_at_8.00.54_PMThe Coca Cola Spelling Bee Competition is back and is on its 21st anniversary. The competition kicked off in Orange Walk Town today with the first zone eliminations held at the Crystal Palace Auditorium. Students were focused this morning as the first rounds were being carried out. As part of the yearly process, contestants were joined by teachers and other schoolmates who cheered them on.  The annual competition by now has become a popular part of the yearly activities for almost all primary institutions across the country. Credit Control Manager at Bowen and Bowen Nicholas Pollard Junior, who also doubles as the Manager of the competition, says they now see the full participation of all schools in the country, which includes well over two hundred. Today he told us that they are proud to say that schools have met up to the constant increase in the difficulty of the competition in each year.

Nicholas Pollard Jr. – Manager of Competition

“As we grow I think we logistically we manage and organize better what I do see is that the actual schools are preparing their contestants a lot better, we have added origin to the reserve list so the students are given the sentence they are given the meaning and the origin that is key especially if it is Latin, Greek or French and that way the students are much better prepared and the level of words have improved so when we  look back ten years ago the words that they were getting at this level were far easier words now the words are more difficult.”

Dalila Ical – Reporter

“And the students are prepared for these words I imagine?”

Nicholas Pollard Jr. – Manager of Competition

“We had contestants from Standard IV and standard V of course standard VI but we have been getting winner from the level of standard IV if they lose they can come back and that is what coaches have been doing getting them exposed in the first year so win or lose they get to come back if they win then they can’t come back if they win at the national but if they win at the district level they can come back but if a national level they win then they don’t get to come back first and second place.”

Pollard Jr. also spoke about some small changes in this year’s competition and also of new additions.

Nicholas Pollard Jr. – Manager of Competition

“We do try to wholesome, we were doing T-shirts everywhere and what we saw that the T-shirts were given out and  after they wear it the first time it was like they didn’t really care for the T-shirt and so we decided to go back to certificates where the parents can frame the certificate and they can put it up on the wall so that years later that child can say I won a Coca Cola spelling Bee 2015 so the certificates are really nice and we are giving the first and the second place trophies here at the zone, another addition I should say to the corporate sponsors we just added Angelus Press as a corporate sponsor and now we have BTL, Belize Bank, Bennys’ and Angelus Press has joined us.”

Another of their partners for this competition has been the Education Department. Pollard Jr. says they have been an excellent team player and are once again well-organized this year.

Nicholas Pollard Jr. – Manager of Competition

“I have to say that Ministry of education is a partner and they do a great job with the logistics and the district education managers they really work closely with the principal and teachers so without them we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing.”

San Estevan, Progresso, Guinea Grass, and Carmelita School took part in the first eliminations. The team will travel next to Corozal. In the following week they will be at the Toledo and Cayo Districts followed by Stann Creek and Belize District. The Nationals is scheduled for June fifth.

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