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The final battle to be Singapore's Top Speller

Singapore, April 25 2012 - Who will be Singapore's top speller? The champion in the inaugural RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship will be crowned on Saturday, April 28, after what is set to be the most competitive final battle among 29 top spellers.

The finalists from 19 primary schools made it to the finals after they scored the highest among 103 students in the earlier Zonal Rounds, which took place at four different locations on April 14.

At stake is $5,000 for the champion, who will also win the Challenge Trophy for his or her school, while the first and second runners-up will go home with $3,000 and $1,000 cash respectively.

The top zonal winners from each zone will each get $500 cash and $200 worth of book vouchers. All the finalists will each get a medal.

The Final Battle will unfold at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Collyer Ballroom, at 10 am. Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob is the guest-of-honour.

Like in the Zonal rounds, the finalists will be seated on stage, facing an audience and judging panel comprising officials from the English Language Institute of Singapore (ELIS), Ministry of Education, Singapore, Speak Good English Movement and The Straits Times. Each will take turns to spell aloud the words read to them by a pronouncer.

This round is expected to go beyond an hour as the contestants are the creme of the 1,200 students from 134 primary schools who took part in what is now popularly known as The Big Spell, for short. They have battled their way through two earlier exciting rounds - the preliminary round which was held on March 10, and the zonals just two weeks ago.

Said Ms Serene Goh, Editor of IN and Little Red Dot, The Straits Times' weekly publications for schools: "These spellers have made a fan out of me -- it's taken them weeks of preparation and strategy to get here. We will be celebrating two great achievements: skill and guts. These guys not only have the brain power to tackle so many difficult words, but the courage to do it standing in front of the largest audience ever. I'm excited for them, I'm proud to be a part of this. I can't wait to watch the drama!"

Added Dr Tan Bee Geok from the Ministry of Education, a key partner of the National Spelling Championship: "The various rounds of the competition have helped to generate much interest in spelling as a Mind Sport. We hope that contenders will cultivate graciousness, whether they win or lose, just as we hope the competition helps to inculcate mental discipline and resilience among our young spellers."

On the upcoming finals, Madam Norazzah Sulaiman, Director, Group Corporate Services, RHB Banking Group, said: “The finalists have shown us what it takes to be winners. Their tireless efforts and positive attitude have gotten them where they are. Win or lose, what’s more important is that the knowledge they’ve gained during this experience will be a life-long companion. Good luck to all finalists!”

The organisers hope the contest will develop a greater appreciation of the importance of spelling in literacy development among primary school pupils, as well as help to promote a healthy competitive spirit.

The contest, which is open to primary 4, 5 and 6 pupils, is supported by the National Library Board and the Speak Good English Movement.


The 29 finalists are as follows:




Media Invitation

We are inviting you and your photographer / videographer to cover the finals of the RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship 2012 at:

Venue: Raffles City Convention Centre, Collyer Ballroom,
Date: Saturday, April 28
Time: 9am to 1pm

Programme

9am Registration
10am Welcome remarks by Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor, The Straits Times
Remarks by Tan Sri Azlan Zainol, Chairman, RHB Banking Group
Opening video
10.15am Start of finals
11.30am Intermission
Arrival of Guest -of-Honour, Minister of State, Ministry of Community Development, 
Youth and Sports, Madam Halimah Yacob
  Performance by ChildAid talent
11.40am Continuation of finals: Top 5 finalists
Speech by Guest-of-Honour
12.15pm Presentation of awards to winners
12.45pm End of event followed by reception


To RSVP, please contact Mr Gary Yeo at garyyeo@sph.com.sg or 6319 1225 latest by
27 April, Friday, 3pm.


For more information, please contact:

Andrea Thum (Ms)
Assistant Manager
Editorial Projects Unit
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1016
Email: andreat@sph.com.sg

Khalid Khamis (Mr)
Assistant Manager
Editorial Projects Unit
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5669
Email: khalidk@sph.com.sg

Gary Yeo (Mr)
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1225

Email: garyyeo@sph.com.sg


About The Straits Times

The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on July 15, 1845, its comprehensive coverage of world news, East Asian news, Southeast Asian news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates makes The Straits Times the most-read newspaper in Singapore.

The Straits Times also has an online presence at www.straitstimes.com. The site features top stories, blogs and an online forum threads. Also under The Straits Times' umbrella are citizen journalism site Stomp and online television service RazorTV.

For more information, visit
www.straitstimes.com.


About RHB Bank Singapore
 
Established in 1961, RHB Bank Singapore is a full-licensed bank with a network of 7 branches situated in various locations. It also operates 15 Bureau de Change outlets in Singapore Changi Airport. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of financial products and services to consumer, corporate and commercial clients, ranging from various types of deposits and loans, treasury to investment banking.
 
RHB Bank Singapore is the first full bank to be conferred the prestigious S-Class (Service Class) award by SPRING Singapore as well as the first and only bank in Singapore and Malaysia to be awarded the prestigious “Best Customer Experience Management of the Year Award” in banking service by APCSC Hong Kong and most recently, awarded the SQC (Singapore Quality Class) by SPRING Singapore in June 2010.
 
For more information on RHB Bank Singapore please log on to
www.rhbbank.com.sg.


About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia's leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms. It publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages and over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region. On an average day, – 2.92 million individuals or 74 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH’s internet editions of its major newspapers enjoy over 330 million page views with 18 million unique visitors each month. Other new media initiatives include AsiaOne, omy.sg, ST701, Stomp and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH has also ventured into book publishing, broadcasting, out-of-home advertising and properties.