5th Dec, 2016

Solihull Scrabble star prepares to take on fellow wordsmiths in UK championships

Aisling Kiely 15th Jul, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

A SCRABBLE player from Solihull is set to take on the country’s finest at the UK Scrabble Masters this weekend – and she is the only woman taking part.

Natalie Zolty has been playing the famous board game ever since she was a youngster.

But it was when she was made redundant four years ago that the 51-year-old really started taking the ‘game’ seriously.

Fast forward a few years and she now finds herself flying the flag for the girls as she goes head-to-head with the UK’s finest scrabble talent.

Speaking to The Observer, Natalie said: “I never thought playing scrabble as a child would lead to taking part in a national competition, but I’m really excited to get stuck in.

“It’s quite empowering to be the only woman to compete and I’m more than ready to give everything I’ve got.

“I’ll be competing in 16 games over the weekend, so it’s going to be tough.

Natalie has turned her life around with scrabble and is working on a new project, MindSports, to encourage children to play the game and test their maths and english skills.

She added: “It is a game which requires intense concentration and has the same level of skill as chess.

“It tests logic, problem-solving and most importantly, spelling skills.”

The scrabble star has her work cut out over the next year and has big plans to smash the record at the World Scrabble Competition in Lille at the end of August.

Natalie said the games has given her a new lease of life and has given her the opportunity to meet a handful of talented players across the globe.