Insatiable desire for written word propels Yap to final stage
SEREMBAN: Vanessa Yap Zi Yuan has always loved to read, an interest she developed since she was very young.
“I was able to read since I was in kindergarten. I love horror and thriller novels,” said the Year Five pupil from Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Chung Hwa here.
Yap, the youngest of three siblings, said it was from reading that she managed to broaden her knowledge and improve her English vocabulary.
“I love to look at words, especially new and bombastic words. I look for the meaning and then use those words in conversations,” she said at her house in Taman Jade Hill here.
Yap said reading as many books as possible prepared her for RHB New Straits Times SpellIt-Right (SIR) National challenge, where she will be representing the state in the final on Oct 21.
The competition will mark her first participation in SIR.
“I’m excited and anxious. I didn’t expect that my first attempt will bring me to the final stage. I’m proud to represent Negri Sembilan and my school. My family, teachers and friends have been supportive from the start.”
For Ashvinaa Balachandran, former champion of the SIR challenge for the primary school category in 2014, her participation this year in the secondary school category was a personal achievement.
“Winning the competition three years ago gave me exposure. I know what to expect for the competition. It is going to be a tough fight,” said the 15-year-old from SMK King George V here.
Fresh from completing her PT3 examinations, Ashvinaa said she would prepare for the finals.
“I’m looking forward to do my best again and hopefully I will be able to make everyone, including my family, teachers and friends, proud,” Ashvinaa, who reads the dictionary and newspapers, said.
In Melaka, first-timer, R. Kuhan Karttikeyn, 16, is looking forward to meeting fellow spellers next week.
Kuhan said he had always been interested to join the challenge even during his primary school days in Ipoh, Perak, but due to several reasons, he always ended up not doing so.
“I’m happy that I got the chance to participate,” said Kuhan.
“I was shocked and did not expect to win because I spelt only nine out of 14 words correctly in the preliminary round, but scored a full mark in the state challenge.”
Adam Hakimi Mohd Shahril Izuan, 12, from SK Ayer Keroh said he gets butterflies in his stomach even though this would be his fifth time participating in SIR.
“It is going to be challenging in the finals but I believe I can do it.”
(From left) Vanessa Yap Zi Yuan, Ashvinaa Balachandran, R. Kuhan Karttikeyn and Adam Hakimi Mohd Shahril Izuan