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Final battle to be Singapore's Champion Speller

Singapore, April 22, 2014 - Who will be the nation's top speller? The champion in the RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship, also known as The Big Spell, will be crowned on Saturday, April 26, in the final battle among 25 finalists.

The finalists from 15 primary schools made it to this decisive showdown after two earlier roundsAmong them are four zonal champions who emerged at the top, having beaten 122 others in the zonal round on April 5.

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 win $3,000 and $1,000 cash respectively. 

The four Zonal champions from each zone have each won $500 cash and $100 worth of book vouchers. All the finalists will each receive a medal.


The 25 finalists will pit their skills against one another at the Auditorium located at the Tay Eng Soon Convention Centre, Institute of Technical Education at Ang Mo Kio, from 9.00 am. Speaker of Parliament, Madam Halimah Yacob is the guest-of-honour.

Like 
in the Zonal Rounds, the finalists will show off their spelling chops before an audience. They will take turns to spell aloud the words read to them by a pronouncer.

This time, the judging panel comprises officials from the English Language Institute of Singapore (ELIS); Ministry of Education, Singapore; Speak Good English Movement and The Straits Times.

These finalists represent the best of the 1,400 pupils who first took part in the Preliminary Round on March 1, and who bested their peers at the zonals just two weeks ago.

Said Ms Serene Goh, Editor of IN and Little Red Dot, The Straits Times' weekly publications for schools: "I think this competition, as a mind sport, has proven to be a truly meaningful way to get young readers to think differently about the English language. We're all in awe at how they're so prepared, so competitive, so focused. There's a lot of mutual respect for each other too. We've heard so many of them congratulate each other on their results, and playing the game well."

Ms Norazzah Sulaiman, RHB Banking Group’s Group Chief Governance Officer said: "RHB Banking Group is proud to be part of the NSC and to contribute to this journey of self development of these young talents. It is good to see so many young minds confidently rising to the challenge and we hope that the experience gained throughout this competition will further build their character and enhance their mental capabilities. I also wish all our finalists the very best as they prepare for the final battle this weekend." 

The organisers hope the competition 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 co-organised by RHB Banking Group and The Straits Times, in partnership with the MOE. It is supported by the National Library Board, Institute of Technical Education and tech giant Hewlett Packard.


For the first time, members of the public can watch the finalists battle it out, but they must pre-register first. 

To register, go to www.straitstimes.com/big-spell-2014

The 25 finalists are as follows:


 

Media Invitation

We cordially invite 
you and your photographer / videographer to cover the finals of the RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship 2014 at:

Venue:
  Auditorium 

Tay Eng Soon Convention Centre 
Institute of Technical Education
 
2 Ang Mo Kio Drive
 
Singapore 567720
 Date:  Saturday, April 26
Time:
  9.30am to 1pm

Programme


8.30am Registration for Big Spell participants


9.00am Registration for guests9.30am All guests to be seated
Emcee to go through game play with audience

9.50am   Arrival of Guest of Honour, Mdm Halimah Yacob, Speaker of Parliament

9.55am Welcome remarks by Ms Zuraidah Ibrahim, Deputy Editor, The Straits Times
Remarks by Tan Sri Azlan Zainol, Chairman, RHB Banking Group

Speech by Madam Halimah Yacob, Speaker of ParliamentOpening video
10.15am Start of The Big Spell 2014 Grand Final

12.15pm   Presentation of awards to all winners

(Approx time)

12.45pm   End of event    

To RSVP, please contact Mr Yeo Siew Chi at yeosc@sph.com.sg or 6319-1586 latest by April 24Thursday, 3pm.


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Registration. No. 198402868E
 


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. Quality news, in-depth analyses, impactful commentaries and breaking stories are packaged to give readers riveting accounts of events in Singapore, the region, and beyond. 

The Straits Times' key strength is in its world class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 20 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective. 

In keeping with the times, The Straits Times carries weekly supplements such as Digital Life (DL), Urban and Mind Your Body (MYB) to complement The Straits Times as well as IN and Little Red Dot to cater to young readers in schools. Its many efforts have won multiple international awards from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, as well as the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association.

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

The Straits Times has won many accolades and awards, including being named Singapore Newspaper of the Year 2013 by Marketing magazine and voted Singapore’s favourite newspaper 2013 by Superbrands. The Straits Times’ website straitstimes.com also won gold in “Best In Online Media” at the 2012 Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards. 


About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.


Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing 

SPH has 19 titles licensed under the Newspaper Printing and Presses Act, of which nine are daily newspapers across four languages. On an average day, 3.05 million individuals or 76 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.


Internet and Mobile

Beyond print, SPH's suite of digital products, including online editions of newspapers and magazines, as well as mobile applications, enjoy over 400 million page views with 20 million unique visitors every month. Apart from AsiaOne, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include ST701, the leading online marketplace for jobs (STJobs), property (STProperty), cars (STCars) and general classifieds (STClassifieds); Stomp, 
omy.sg and SPH Razor. SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, an Android smartphone application and The Business Times’ iPhone application. SPH’s Chinese flagship newspaper Lianhe Zaobao has also launched its digital editions which include a web application, as well as online and PDF versions. The Malay language-daily Berita Harian has apps for both iPhones and Android smartphones and iPads, offering both native and PDF formats, and an online version.

Broadcasting

In the radio business, SPH Radio Pte Ltd operates entertainment stations UFM 100.3 in Mandarin, as well as Kiss92 and HOT FM91.3 in English. SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. 


Events and Out-of-Home Advertising

SPH’s events arm Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in Singapore and the region. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPHMBO. 


Properties

SPH REIT is a Singapore-based REIT established principally to invest, directly or indirectly, in a portfolio of income-producing real estate which is used primarily for retail purposes in Asia-Pacific, as well as real estate-related assets. SPH REIT is managed by SPH REIT Management Pte. Ltd., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Limited. 

The initial portfolio of SPH REIT comprises the following two high quality and well located commercial properties in Singapore:

· Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property, well known for its upscale mall housing many luxury brands, located in the heart of Orchard Road; and
· The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall located in the centre of Clementi town, an established residential estate in the west of Singapore. 

The Seletar Mall is SPH's latest retail development and is expected to open at the end of 2014. This property is a potential asset to be injected into SPH REIT. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road. 


For more information, please visit www.sph.com.sg.


About RHB Bank Singapore

RHB Bank was first established in 1961 as United Malayan Banking Corporation Berhad. Through a series of rapid expansion and strategic mergers, RHB Bank Singapore emerged as a full-licensed bank with a network of 7 branches and operating 12 Bureau de Change outlets in Singapore Changi Airport. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of financial products and services to consumer, corporate and business 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. Most recently, it was also awarded the Singapore Quality Class STAR by SPRING Singapore in 2013.

For more information on RHB Bank Singaporeplease log on to www.rhbbank.com.sg.


About RHB Banking Group

The RHB Banking Group is the fourth largest fully integrated financial services group in Malaysia. The Group’s core businesses are streamlined into seven Strategic Business Groups (“SBGs”): Retail Banking, Corporate & Investment Banking, Business Banking, Islamic Banking, Global Financial Banking, Group Treasury and Group Transaction Banking. These businesses are offered through its main subsidiaries - RHB Bank Berhad, RHB Investment Bank Berhad, RHB Insurance Berhad and RHB Islamic Bank Berhad, while its asset management and unit trust businesses are undertaken by RHB Asset Management Sdn. Bhd. and RHB Islamic International Asset Management Berhad. The Group’s regional presence now spans eight countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is RHB Banking Group’s aspiration to deliver superior customer experience and shareholder value; and to be recognised as a Leading Multinational Financial Services Group.