League of scrabble friends set to host new PANASA President, honour late Pa Olutoyinbo

By Ifeanyi Eduzor

One of the most active organizations in the game of Scrabble in Nigeria, League of Scrabble Friends (LSF) is set to host the newly elected President of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA), Adekoyejo Adegbesan.
Our correspondent gathered that the event which includes a world press conference and a lunch is scheduled to hold in one of the top hotel in Lagos next month.
One of the brains behind this August event, Segun Durojaiye is working round the clock to get every lover of the game of words involved as well as make the event one to remember.
Adekoyejo Adegbesan affectionately called the Sheikh is the fourth Nigerian to lead PANASA and it will interest you to know that he is one the Nigerian currently serving as the head of any continental body in sports.
Scrabble is the only sports that Nigeria is world leader in the last seven years uninterrupted and has been Africa’s number one in the male and female categories since 1994 that’s about 28 years.
In the latest World rating by WESPA, four Nigerians are in the top ten, the only country with that huge number.
Former World Champion Wellington Jighere, MGI Grand Slam finalist Opeyemi Oloro, West African Champion, Eta Paul Karo and the man who was crowned in Lusaka, Zambia, Enoch Tochukwu Nwali completes the Nigeria quartet in the top ten.
Jighere is third on the rating with 2107 points, 45 points behind the number one, Nigel Richards of New Zealand, Adam Logan of Canada is second with 2129 points.
Opeyemi Oloro is 7th with 2060, African Champion Enoch Nwali is 8th with 2056 points while Eta Karo who finished 5th in Lusaka is 10th on the table with 2043 points
Adekoyejo Adegbesan, an excellent tournament director, a Scrabble Club owner and the Chairman of Ogun State Scrabble Association (OSSCA), will be in South Africa on the 16th of November to meet with the CEO/MD of Vodacom to tie down the deal for the first edition of the African Youth Scrabble Championship.
The PANASA President is expected to meet with Ogun State Commissioner for Sports,  the sports loving Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun and the Minister of Youth and Sports Chief Sunday Dare.
These meetings will offer the new PANASA President, Adegbesan, the opportunity to outline his programs, plans and project to the government.
Already the President of Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), Engineer Toke Aka is working towards the meeting with the Sports Minister.
Among the project in the pipeline is the location of the continental head quarter of PANASA in Nigeria; Abuja and Lagos are the two cities viaing for the seat of PANASA.
Meanwhile, South Side Scrabble Club of Kaduna are through to the grand finale of the NSF Inter Club League Championship.
They secured their place in the grand finale from the North West Zonal final.
So far only two Clubs, South Side of Kaduna from North West Zone and Yola Scrabble Club from the North East Zone are through to the NSF Inter Club League Championship finals.
The Technical Director of NSF, John Curtis told that 10 more slots are still waiting for occupants in the finals scheduled to hold in Abuja.
South South, South West, South East and North Central are yet to conclude their Zonal final. These Zones shall produce the ten remaining tickets to the grand finale.
In another development, the town of Egbin in Lagos State is set to host a national Scrabble Championship after years of inactivity.
The former Technical Director of Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), Larry Ojoko is leading the rebirth of Egbin National Open.
He explained that, two categories, Masters and the Opens will be competed for at the two day competition. It’s a fifteen round of games event.
Players wishing to compete in the Masters event must have at least 1300 NSF rating points and are expected to pay the sum of Five Thousand Naira (N5,000) as registration fee while players below the 1300 NSF rating points will fight for honours in the Opens category that attracts Three Thousand Naira (3,000) as registration fee.
We understand that the Organizers, Egbin Scrabble Club, Ikorodu and Sarank Garden Hotels will not entertain late registration or registration at the venue of the event. Midnight of the 4th of November is the deadline for registration and players are to enter for the event with the same name format as it appears on the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) rating list.
The Egbin National Open Scrabble Championship is open to players not rated too and it’s an NSF certified and rated event.
Over half a million naira has been set aside as prize money for the two day competition which starts 9am on the 5th and ends on the 6th of November at the Sarank Garden Hotels Kilometer 4 Itamaga, Ijede Road in Ikorodu.
The winner of the Masters event gets a hundred thousand naira (100,000) with the winner of the Opens to pocket seventy five thousand naira (N75,000).
In a related development, the bi-monthly Fountain Scrabble Club, Ekiti retreat has been fixed for the 12th of November.
The one day event is open to all scrabble players in the country and it has 7 Swiss and 3 King of the Hill pairings.
The Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti is the venue of the retreat and registration fee has been pagged at two thousand naira (2,000).
Meanwhile a mini tournament will be staged in Abeokuta, Ogun State in honour of late Pa Olutoyinbo the father of one of the best female Scrabble players on the continent Mrs. Bukunmi Afolayan.
Bukunmi Afolayan who is a player and coach came second in the female event at the 14th African Scrabble Championship which ended recently in Lusaka, Zambia. She lost her beloved father earlier this month.

Pa Olutoyinbo will be buried on Friday, 4th of November.

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