Tracey Hinder goes to CANSPELL national spelling contest in Ottawa

Tracey Hinder goes to CANSPELL national spelling contest in Ottawa

My 2nd cousin Tracey Hinder is on the cover of the April 16 Vancouver Sun today – again! And there are more pictures and stories about the 8th grader on page A5, B1 and B10.

She won the March 13 Vancouver
regional Can Spell contest that propelled her to face off this weekend
in Ottawa for national finals.

There are pictures of her with the other regional winner in front of
the Parliament Buildings, with Prime Minister Paul Martin, and also
with Governor General Adrienne Clarkson (to whom we are distantly
related by the marriage of our grandmother's eldest brother Henry Lee
to Clarkson's Aunt Cecilia.)

For pictures and details of the March 13 Vancouver Sun story, click here.

Here are some excerts from the Vancouver Sun story:

“I'm a bit nervous, but I'm really excited too.  I've never
been to Ottawa,” said the 13-year old winner of the March 13 regional
spelling bee hosted by the Vancouver Sun.

“I'm very grateful to have won because I'm lucky that I got the
words [apotheosis and capitulation] that I did.  I knew them and I
hope that happens again at the nationals,” she said Wednesday in an

The past few weeks at the Hinder and Wiegel homes have seen frenzied
activity and many late hours as the girls have had to practise their
spelling by painstakingly going through the 3,900 word study guide on
which the questions will be based, as well as keeping up with their
already heactic schedules.

For Tracey, this meant balancing her Grade 8 studies – “I have so
much homework,” she groans – and extracurricular activities.  Her
passion is figure-skating, the reason for the dozen medals that adorn
the living room of her home near Horseshoe Bay.

“I don't have enough time for this [studying for the spelling bee],”
she says.  “I don't really have a schedule.  I'm more like,
if I have any spare time, I'll go through with it.”

With figure-skating practice four days a week, she's been putting in about 45 minutes a day studying for Saturday's finals.

On Tuesday, though, she studied for four hours and took the day off
school Wednesday to perfect her spelling – and to pack her bags ahead
of Thursday's 6 a.m. flight to Ottawa, during which she was to have put
in five more hours of study.

Tracey's interests are many and varied, judging by the contents of
her bedroom.  The walls are plastered with posters of
figure-skaters and pictures of dogs.  And electric guitar that
Gail Hinder says her daughter “fiddles and diddles” with, sits in a
corner next to a Barbie-doll-topped bookcase crammed with her fabourite
books by authors Meg Cabot and William Nicholson and a Tamora Pierce
fantasy story about a girl who wants to become a knight.

“I read any kind of book as long as it's well written,” she
says.  In the summer, she usually goes through up to five books a
week; other times just  one or two.

Tracey plays the piano as well as the flute, which she plans to take
to Ottawa to play with two other finalists who play the violin.

As for the competition itself, Tracey thinks she's as ready as she can be.

“I like the competition.  I think it's fun even though I have
some stress and nerves – I think that's all part of it – and I really
like competing; that's why I do skating.”

Apart from the support family and friends, she has also recieved
letters of encouragement from Premier Gordon Campbell, West Vancouver
Mayor Ron Wood and local MLA Ralph Sultan.  “I feel kind of like a
big deal.  It's very nice of everyone to send it to me and makes
me feel important,” she says.

She also has the support of her coach and teacher Maryam Moayeri,
who read out a letter on her behalf at a meeting of the West Vancouver
secondary school board Tuesday night.


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