Roy Seligman ramps up spelling bee preparation

National spelling champion Roy Seligman has ramped up his preparations in anticipation of the upcoming Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer, according to his coach Katina Seymour. And she said he is “quite excited”.

“He is very hopeful because his preparation is going well,” said Seymour. “Routines have been established.”

She describes Seligman, 12, a three-time national spelling champion, as motivated and disciplined.

“He enjoys networking with other spellers from around the world during online meetings and competitions, and learning new words remains one of his favorite pastimes,” said Seymour.

“He is very comfortable, and is getting a lot of practice with the SpellPundit online test. SpellPundit is one of the highly recommended and Scripps-endorsed resources for the bee. Many past and present spellers credit their use of this resource as a big contributor to their expansive word knowledge and great performance during the international competitions.”

In preparation for Scripps, Seymour said Seligman continues to review the words of champions (4,000 list), which is where the competition will begin, [and] uses the World Club App, a resource that provides practice with spelling definitions and word patterns.”

According to the coach, Seligman spends an average of three hours studying on school days, rising early to accommodate the extra time, and about four to five hours studying on weekends and holidays.

The Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) student also meets with Seymour at school, where they study words from the dictionary.

Seligman she said has registered and joined the SpellPundit National Online Seniors Spelling Bee (grades five through eight). He participated in the preliminary written spelling and vocabulary test on April 11, and is among the top 96 spellers advancing to the semifinals, which will be held on April 24.

Seymour said for his reading pleasure and exposure to new words, Seligman continues to read mystery novels by author Agatha Christie.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee returns this year, after its 2020 cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with top spellers across the United States and the globe gathering near Orlando, Florida, on July 8, to compete in the nationally televised event.

The final round of this year’s bee will be hosted in person at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The finals, featuring 10 to 12 accomplished spellers, will be broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2.

The 10 to 12 finalists who will travel to the Orlando area will have earned the right to compete in the finals by advancing through three levels of competition: the preliminary, quarterfinal and semifinal segments. In past years, those three rounds were held over one week – Bee Week. This year, due to the pandemic, the preliminaries, quarterfinals and semifinals will be held virtually in the weeks leading up to the July 8 finals and will be broadcast live on ESPN platforms. The semifinals are slated for June 27.

“Since its beginnings nearly 100 years ago, the Scripps National Spelling Bee and its spellers have inspired audiences across the globe with a compelling combination of academic excellence and engaging entertainment,” said Adam Symson, president and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company. “Now, as the world continues to adapt to an ongoing pandemic, Scripps is committed to reimagining the beloved competition in a way that safely allows our exceptional spellers to continue this iconic tradition on the national stage.”

The decision to limit the in-person portion of the competition to no more than 12 spellers was made in consideration of the health and safety of participants, their families and everyone involved in the event’s production as the country continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The in-person portion of the competition at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney will follow protocols based on guidance from health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for social distancing and masking.

According to Seymour, Seligman is fine with the new online format.

Seligman won the Bahamas National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling “campanology” in the 11th round of competition.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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