QWAQWA. – The Children of the Dawn (COTD) held the national spelling bee at Ga Mathabatha in Limpopo on Thursday (14/07). The organisation, which cares for orphaned and vulnerable children in rural areas, had their eight centres participating in the competition. Children under the age of nine and under 14 from Ermelo, Bushbuckridge, Mangweni (all from Mpumalanga), Lenyenye, Ga Mathabatha (Limpopo), Matatiele (Eastern Cape), Mpumazi (KwaZulu-Natal) and Qwaqwa (Free State) participated.According to Tendai Mugabe, the organisation’s administrative coordinator, each centre held the regional competition in May. “The winners of the centres are the ones who represented their centres here at the nationals. We had one speller in u.9 and another in u.14 of each centre. The winners got a team trophy, gold medals and a R300 shopping voucher.“We had a very competitive competition. We would like to congratulate the winners. The Qwaqwa team is the 2016 champion. Ermelo came second, followed by Matatiele in third position. We would like thank the Kinderfonds MAMAS for making this happen,” she concluded.Atlehang Mahlophe, a beneficiary and a team member of the winning team, said he was very happy for winning the competition.“I am very happy that we won and hope that our peers, caregivers and families will appreciate this. I am so delighted. I would love to defend this trophy next year, but I can’t, because of age. But I am confident that whoever is going to represent us will make sure it remains in Qwaqwa,” said the delighted Mahlophe.