Sian Virani – our very own budding Scrabble champion | Aga Khan Academies

Sian Virani – our very own budding Scrabble champion

Sian Virani, grade 8, participated at the 14th international scrabble tournament hosted by Capgemini in association with the Karnataka State Scrabble Association in Bangalore between 11-14th January, 2018. “This was an amazing learning experience because there were 170 participants from all around the world, some of them champions and others who were retired and had taken Scrabble up as a hobby. I played in the fourth group, where I faced others who were new to competitive Scrabble. All of us were there because we wanted to do something for ourselves.”

In 15 years, Sian sees himself as a professional Scrabble player representing India in international tournaments. “Attending school here has helped me recognise my potential, not just in studies but also in hobby sports!,” he says. “I love Scrabble and I want to become a pro in it. When I first started playing, I could only make small words. But now I can also play bingos – this is when you use all seven tiles and get 50 points as a bonus. Scrabble is a game worth promoting because it improves your vocabulary, and can bring a change in the way you think about things.” Sian was first introduced to Scrabble by a coach, who has since mentored him and introduced him to the competition circuit.

It is no wonder that Sian’s favourite part of the day is enrichment, the after-school extracurricular programme offered at the Academy. He is currently part of the robotics club, where students build Lego robots that are able to move and perform different functions. He chose robotics because he already had an electrical engineering set that he had been tinkering around with, and because he believes that artificial intelligence is going to play a key role in the future of the world. Naturally then, his favourite subject is mathematics.

Sian, who joined the Academy when it first started in 2011, says his most memorable day in the recent past was 2nd December 2017. “We organised a Harry Potter themed Yule Ball which was our service project. Through this, we raised funds for the government schools we work with. We knew what they required, and with our contributions we are going to try to change the way the school looks from how it was before.”

We wish Sian the best with his Scrabble career!