Win spells national final for pupil

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A to Z . . . Kavanagh College pupil Luca Holloway will represent the South Island in the New Zealand Spelling Bee in Wellington next month. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

A Kavanagh College pupil is dusting up on his spelling skills in preparation for a national competition.

Luca Holloway (13) and South Otago High School pupil Annie Schofield (14) are the lower South Island finalists who will compete against 17 other year 9 and 10 pupils at the 2018 New Zealand Spelling Bee in Wellington on November 3.

The pair won the South Island semifinal, held in Dunedin in August, after getting past the initial written classroom test.

Luca, whose winning word in the semifinal was “algorithm”, said he practised for the competition by reading the dictionary and studying the list of 200 words given to each speller.

The first three rounds of the competition will feature words from the list. From round four, the words will be taken at random from the dictionary.

Luca said the national event was a “step up” from the regional one.

The winner will receive the Spelling Bee trophy and $5000 towards their academic pursuits.

Spelling Bee founder Janet Lucas is expecting a tough competition “with many of the spellers taking an extremely competitive stance and working hard for the win”.

“There are some amazing spellers, some who are in the final for the second year in a row, and many of them really want to win and have worked hard to get here.”