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Jamaica’s Ambassador-designate to the United States, Her Excellency, Audrey Marks, has commended the Gleaner Company for its continued support of the Spelling Bee Competition and the sponsorship of Jamaica’s entry in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition, now underway in Washington, D.C.
In welcoming Jamaica’s Spelling Bee participant in the competition, Owayne Rodney, and his coach, Primrose Swaby, at the embassy in Washington, D.C. on June 1, 2010, Ms. Marks congratulated the young man for being champion of the Gleaner Children’s Own All-Island competition 2010, and for representing his country in Washington D.C.
“The Gleaner’s commitment speaks volumes to the development of our country’s youth.I want to urge you to do your best and whether or not you win, you’re an ambassador for your country,” she said.
She told the youngster that, “You have done your country, your parents, your school and indeed yourself proud. On behalf of the Government and the people of Jamaica, I want to congratulate you on your exemplified performance as Jamaica’s representative in the 83rd Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship.”
Ambassador-designate Marks also had high praises for Owayne’s coach, who she described as a trail blazer, having producing this year’s champion from the parish of Clarendon, and for her commitment to nurturing the young people of that parish. “Jamaica is grateful for your contribution to the development of the Spelling Bee competition,” Ms. Marks told Ms. Swaby.
In his response, Owayne expressed appreciation for the opportunity, stating that “I promise to do my best to make my country proud by taking home the Scripps trophy.”
Coach Swaby said she is honoured to be part of the Spelling Bee programme and was especially pleased because this is the first time that the parish of Clarendon has produced a National Spelling Bee champion.
Ms. Swaby pointed out that Owayne had trained very hard and she is hopeful that Jamaica will again create history by winning the competition for a second time. Twelve years ago, Jody Ann Maxwell became the first Jamaican to win the competition.
Meanwhile, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Manager of the Gleaner Company, Karin Cooper, said that part of the Gleaner’s commitment “is to continue to help Jamaica to develop good citizens and if we begin with the children by getting them involved in the Spelling Bee competition, we will develop children who will think, reason and ultimately we will have a better country, and that is why the Gleaner continues to give solid support to the Spelling Bee competition.”
Some 280 participants will vie for the top prize at the 83rd Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship, which began on Wednesday, June 2 with the oral and written competition, and will end on Friday, June 4, when the champion will be chosen at the Grand Hyatt in downtown, Washington DC.
Owayne was also accompanied by his mother, Carlene Rodney. Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Jamaica, Ms. Sharon Miller, also shared in the occasion.