As her commitment to grooming future chess masters, former Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) spokesperson Keenese Katisenge is set to open a chess academy.
Now on the sidelines after her term in the BCF Executive Committee came to an end, Katisenge is now eyeing the development of chess players as she makes a comeback to the game she loves.
According to the former BCF spokesperson, the mission of her academy is to focus on developing youngsters and exposing players to international standards of the game.
She says apart from unearthing new talent, the project will also support players with life skills outside the scope of the game.
Katisenge told this publication that they were still working on a few logistics before the academy sees the light of day.
“I am working on legalising and formalising a chess academy that will work with the BCF for social impact and empowerment of young and senior chess players with life skills so that we can continue contributing positively to the society by producing well rounded citizens and the preparations are at an advanced stage,” Katisenge said.
With a mandate to organise international tournaments under the academy stable, it has been revealed that coaching clinics will be key to motivate and impart knowledge to youngsters.
“The incorporation of hosting of high class events to the initiative is to attract more stakeholders to the academy especially chess players who enjoy playing the game of and polishing their playing skills. Since our academy will also be hosting coaching clinics, the high class tournaments will help us pick the training needs of our target groups,” Katisenge explained.
Katisenge, a Chess International Organiser (IO), National Instructor (NI) and Fide Arbiter (FA), said the project will also impact positively on the society as they will impart knowledge with several communities countrywide.
“The aim is to help in making a positive impact in the society and in producing exceptional individuals beyond the chess board. Chess is a game of strategy, it empowers the mind and will therefore like to take advantage of this and demonstrate this positive feature of our game.
The benefits will not only be enjoyed by chess players as the bigger plan is to ensure we incorporate and target youths and other members of the society in different locations,” said Katisenge.
She said the academy through its social responsibility will also closely fight social ills affecting communities.
“Some of the issues that we will be addressing through the academy will include alcohol and drug abuse. We will also empower our target groups especially athletes to realise the importance of education to help reduce statistics of school dropouts, unwanted pregnancies and all other social ills that we will continue to add to the list as the academy grows and becomes more diverse,” concluded Katisenge.