Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) has established Chess playing clubs at Chiundila and Chunzu primary schools in Dowa District that aim at enhancing knowledge of the sport to the learners.
The clubs have been established with financial support from Lilongwe-based Pyxus Agriculture Malawi Limited.
Speaking during the launch of the clubs at the weekend, Chessam President Susan Namangale said the association established the teams as one way of developing the sport at grass roots level in the country’s rural areas.
She said establishment of chess teams in public primary schools is one of her association’s strategic goals that aim at identifying talent that can compete both at regional and international levels.
“Taking the game of chess to rural areas has been our number one priority, however, we have been unable to do so due to lack of adequate financial support,” said Namangale.
She, therefore, commended Pyxus Agriculture Malawi Limited for providing Chessam about K2 million towards the cause.
Namangale said her association has recruited two trainers who will be visiting the two schools on weekly basis to drill the pupils on the tactics of the game. In addition, Chessam has also bought chess equipment for the two schools.
In his remarks, Pyxus Agriculture corporate affairs officer Ben Kawonga said they decided to support Chessam’s project to develop the sport in rural-based schools because it can also help learners to do well in class as chess improves concentration and decision making.
He said: “We decided to support Chessam because our aim is to reduce the probability of children being involved in child labour after school hours.
“We, therefore, believe that playing chess after their lessons will not only improve their skills of the game, but also their problem solving prowess, critical thinking as well as decision making.”
Kawonga, however, urged the pupils to take care of the equipment.
Chiundila Primary School head teacher Titus Kamanga commended both Chessam and Pyxus Agriculture Malawi Limited for establishing a chess team at his school, saying it will help prevent learners from dropping out of school and eventually do better in class.