Lydia Swart, a student at First Lutheran Christian School, won the title of the top speller in Kelowna at the Okanagan Regional Spelling Bee held earlier this month.
The challenge, sponsored by local newspapers, began with a large field of 34 students at the Mary Irwin Theatre in the Rotary Centre for the Arts.
More than 2,000 students competed in local schools to earn a spot in the spelling bee challenge.
Swart survived some very competitive rounds all the way to the point where it was just herself and two other students remaining.
A proud Nicholas Swart, Lydia’s father, said, “She kept us on the edge of our seats time and time again. We were all amazed, including her grandparents, at some of the words she successfully spelled, especially in the later rounds as the judges began to use words that were more difficult.”
Canspell encourages students in spelling and language academic achievement through healthy competition for Grade 4 to 8 students in all 10 Canadian provinces.
Winners of regional competitions can compete nationally for the Canadian title, where the top three spellers will go on to compete internationally.
In the end, Lydia was the top competitor from Kelowna, beating approximately 2,000 other competitors from across the region.
She subsequently placed third in the regional competition, finishing behind two students from Vernon.