Morecambe man backs Scrabble sport campaign

Daniel Stembridge with the members of Team Pakistan at the 2016 World Scrabble Championships in France.
Daniel Stembridge with the members of Team Pakistan at the 2016 World Scrabble Championships in France.
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Is Scrabble a sport?

A Morecambe man is on a mission to have the classic word game recognised as such.

Daniel Stembridge has become an ambassador for Mindsports International – organisers of the annual World Scrabble Championship.

And Daniel wants to get the word out that Scrabble should be an officially recognised sport.

The campaign is backed by Sam Quek, a member of Great Britain’s gold medal-winning women’s hockey team at the Rio Olympics.

“Esports, the competitive playing of video games, is acknowledged as a sport around the world, and the game of chess is recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee and in more than 100 countries worldwide,” said Daniel.

“So is Scrabble any less deserving?”

Father-of-two Daniel, 43, last year travelled to the world championships in Lille, France as a reporter for Mindsports International.

The next championships will be held in Qatar in August.

The former Lancaster Road and Morecambe High School pupil also co-founded the Facebook Scrabble League in 2013.

Other Mindsports include chess, card game Magic:The Gathering and strategy board game Go.

According to the Collins English Dictionary, a sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Using the above definition, claims Daniel, mindsports should be classed as a sport.

“Scrabble involves physical exertion - the brain is the most powerful organ in your body,” he said.

“Just like a muscle, it can be trained and developed. It involves skill and an individual or team compete against each other.

“Scrabble is getting more and more popular, particularly throughout Asia, where it is part of the curriculum in schools.

“One of our aims is to get more children here developing their brains and cognitive skills. Having it officially recognised as a sport can help that happen.”

If you would like to sign the petition, or find out more information, visit https://www.mindsportsacademy.com/