The president of the Botswana Chess Federation, Tshepo Sitale, says Morongwa Security’s continued sponsorship of junior chess championships is already paying dividends in the sport.
Speaking to Standard Sport after the launch of the sponsorship on Thursday, Sitale said ever since the sponsorship started, the sport has seen a tremendous increase of participants.
The Chess president says the sponsorship is solely focused on the development of Chess in the country and the continued partnership with Morongwa Security is a testimony of their commitment to the course. Sitale says the sponsorship has enabled his federation to hold events across the country in search of the best chess brains.
He alluded to the fact that while other codes are struggling with development at grassroots, the chess fraternity in the country already has solid structures in place.
The sponsorship is behind the ongoing junior schools championships held at Bokamoso Junior Secondary School, the finals of which are expected today. This will be preceded by senior schools championships to be held the following weekend.
One hundred and twenty pupils are expected to participate at each of the two events.
Of the 120 junior schools championship participants, 5 are primary school students.
Sitale feels this is evidence of the growth of the sport in Primary schools as these five beat junior secondary students to book their place in the championships.
“We have a very strong and competitive bunch of kids coming up, and two of them will be making the championships for two years in succession,” he said.
“We are aiming to have the sport added as an extracurricular activity at Primary schools next year and we are in talks with the Ministry of Education to make this a reality,” he added.
He says making the sport part of Primary education’s extracurricular activities will be of greater benefit to learners as the sport is known to improve concentration and thinking capacity.
Sitale says besides better incentives and prices given, winners also stand a better chance to earn themselves places at both the Africa Junior Championships as well as the Africa Youth Chess championships billed for Gaborone this coming August.
For his part, Morongwa Security’s Operations Manager says they have increased the sponsorship money as they feel there is need for the sport to reach as many schools as possible. He says besides improving thinking capacity in kids, chess players are known to do well in Mathematics and Science, hence the need to grow the sport. He says their intention is to have a long term relationship with the sport.
The company has increased its sponsorship for the championships from P13 700 it offered last year to P20 600 this year.