Every Tuesday afternoon, a group of students of St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph (SJCSJ) head to the Game Social Club to unwind after a full day of classes by playing an assortment of board games – Checkers, Clue, Monopoly and Dominoes, just to name a few. This casual, social interaction is refreshing in an age where technology and social media seem to dominate the free time of our youths. But there is one board game that we play that is now a ‘mind sport’ – SCRABBLE.
A ‘mind sport’ refers to a sport or game that relies on a player’s mental ability unlike traditional sports that focus on physical strength and agility. Mind sports exercise the mind and develop critical thinking and mental prowess.
According to one of our players, “It’s not only placing words on the board, it is a game of probability and vocabulary building, of anagramming and strategising.”
Our girls, the SJCSJ Scrabble Warriors, compete nationally and internationally in the Mind Sport of Scrabble with the goal of one day winning the WESPA (World English Language Scrabble® Players Association) Youth Cup for Trinidad and Tobago.
Last year, the two youngest youths of T&T’s national team who represented us at the World Youth Scrabble Championship that was held in Lille, France came from SJCSJ. Through God’s grace and the kind support of students, teachers, parents, past pupils and businesses that support local youth development, we were able to raise the funds required to get them there. Our youths were able to receive training from international coaches and brought those skills back to their fellow scrabblers.
This year, the WESPA Youth Cup (formerly called the World Youth Scrabble Championship) will be held in Malaysia in November and we have two youths who have qualified to be part of the T&T’s national team. The WESPA Youth Cup can be likened to the Olympics of Scrabble with over 150 participants from all over the world including Australia, India, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Qatar and Malaysia.
We are actively raising funds with the hope of giving them the opportunity to let Trinidad and Tobago brightly shine on an international stage. If you would like to help sponsor our girls, please contact our school and help us show the rest of the world all that our youths in Trinidad and Tobago have to offer in the mind sport of Scrabble. – Dr Anna-Maria Khan, supervising teacher (Game Social Club)