Ashley buzzing after spelling bee victory
Twelve-year-old Ashley Bolton from Ballinamona, Ballycanew, proved she is top of the class when she was crowned the winner of the Leinster Provincial Spelling Bee 2017.
Ashley who is a sixth class pupil in Bunscoil Loreto, Gorey fought off stiff competition from eleven other spelling enthusiasts and will now move forward to compete in the All-Ireland Eason Spelling Bee final in Croke Park next Tuesday.
Ashley came up trumps in the highly anticipated final, held in the Spencer Hotel, Dublin, against contestants from Wicklow, Longford, Carlow, Louth, Offaly, Kildare, Meath, Laois, Westmeath and Kilkenny. Speaking about her win, the 6th class student said she is delighted to have won and she loves to read. Her favourite books are Harry Potter.
The eldest child of Darragh and Antoinette Bolton Ashley will be starting in Gorey Community School in September and hopes to take up basketball and Gaelic football there.
Mum Antoinette said Ashley who has one younger brother Dylan has always been an avid reader.
'I suppose her love of spelling comes from her love of reading. She has been reading from a very young age and is constantly reading.
'She also likes debating and was a member of the winning debating team in school last week so she's really going out with a bang!'
Ashley also enjoys playing the keyboard.
Antoinette said: 'We are extremely proud of her. It was a great day at the Leinster final and we have our fingers crossed for next week.'.
The word that clinched the title for Ashley last week was Gastroenteritis.
The nationwide competition is part of an overall Eason literacy and reading initiative to encourage and inspire children to develop their spelling and pronunciation skills. Over the years the competition has helped school children gain a greater appreciation of words in a fun and educational way.
Ashley will be joined by provincial winners from Ulster, Connacht and Munster to compete for a goodie package full of books worth €500 and the prestigious title of the 2017 Eason Spelling Bee champion. The winning school will receive €7,500 of books.