The Grooming Session of season three of The Daily Star Spelling Bee took place on April 2, 2014 at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka. At 3 pm the room filled up with 96 contestants dressed in yellow Spelling Bee T-shirts eager to learn about the upcoming TV rounds. Their parents were present at the session as well.
Renowned personalities -- Anisul Hoque, Khaled Mahmud Shujon, Shahed and Mahfuz Anam -- were on stage. An object covered in satin cloth was at the centre of the stage. As the cloth was removed all the spellers stared in awe at the Champion's Trophy -- something they all desired. With this the programme began and Mahfuz Anam, Editor of The Daily Star, said a few words. “You are all champions, each and every one of you. And thank you to the parents for raising these geniuses,” he said.
Next to speak was popular writer Anisul Hoque. Each of the speakers gave the contestants some great advice. Shahed and Khaled Mahmud Shujon -- musician and cricketer respectively -- spoke next. They made it clear that the struggle for achieving something is what makes it worth it. They told the spellers to be confident, to believe in themselves and to try their best in the Spelling Bee
Sunjack Jesun made an appearance on stage. Everyone clapped and cheered for season 2's champion.
“How did you do it, Sunjack? What's your secret?” -- the spellers asked. “No secret,” smiled Sunjack, “I just had the required qualities -- confidence, determination and practice.” He also added that the Spell Buzz is a crucial round so spellers need to be prepared.
The organisers -- TV show producer Abidur Reza Jewel and CEO of Champs21, Russel T. Ahmed -- gave the spellers an insight into the competition.
After refreshments phonetics teacher Murshida Nishat taught the spellers how easy spelling a word becomes when one learns phonetics. She gave the spellers helpful tips like “ask for definition or part of speech before spelling the word because many words, called homophones, sound the same but are spelled differently.” Spellers learned a great deal about phonetics from just one class, thanks to Nishat.
The Grooming Session was all about preparing the contestants for the TV rounds. They were given a clear idea about the TV round games -- Spell It, Spell Hive, Spell Buzz and Spell Ring. It was also an event where all the contestants met and got to know each other.
Faiza, a contestant said, “This is my first time in Spelling Bee. I was freaking out about the TV round but the Grooming Session has made me feel more confident about my performance.” Irtiza said, “Thanks to the Grooming session I made new friends from all seven divisions.”