Alliance One Tobacco in collaboration with its sister company Pyxus Agriculture Limited have increased sponsorship of the Chess School Playing Club Project being implemented by the Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) in some rural based primary schools in the central region to K6 million.
Chessam in collaboration with the two companies launched this project last year at a tune of K2.1 million as a pilot initiative in the two primary schools of Chiundira and Chunzu in Dowa with an aim of developing the sport at grassroots level in the country’s rural areas.
Speaking during the financial sponsorship’s signing ceremony in Lilongwe on Thursday, Alliance One Malawi Limited new Managing Director Simon Peverelle said his company in collaboration with Pyxus Agriculture decided to increase sponsorship of the project to K6 million because chess can also help kids to do better in class through improved concentration and decision making.
“We decided to support Chessam because our aim is to reduce the probability of children being involved in child labour especially in tobacco production after school hours. We therefore believe that playing chess after their classes will not only improve their skills of the game, but also improve their problem solving prowess, critical thinking as well as decision making in their daily life,” said Peverelle.
According to Peverelle, management of the two companies are glad that the project has been extended to other four more primary schools in Lilongwe and Kasungu, a development which will enhance the sport across the country and particularly in rural areas where very few have its technical ability.
“Chess is one indoor sport which helps kids to think fast and in the process master problem solving techniques which I believe would also help kids from the six selected primary schools to perform better academically,” Peverelle said.
He however urged both Chessam and the pupils to take care of the playing materials so that fellow pupils who will be joining the clubs should also benefit from the same materials and be able to learn the sport.
In her remarks, Chessam President Susan Namangale commended both Alliance One and Pyxus Agriculture for increasing the sponsorship of the project from K2 million to K6 million, a development she said would allow her association to train more pupils about the sport in the country’s rural based primary schools where chess is hardly played.
According to Namangale, her association decided to seek sponsorship from the two companies so that it can be able to identify raw talent in the rural areas that can be nurtured and compete at international level. She cited Jenipher Justine from Chunzu primary school in Dowa as one of the raw talent which her association has managed to identify and nurture through this project.
“According to Namangale, Jenipher will be among the team that will represent Malawi at Africa’s schools chess tournament in Lusaka, Zambia next month.
“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. We are so keen to identify raw talent which we can nurture and be able to compete at international level in as far as this sport is concerned,” said Namangale.
She therefore commended the two companies for channelling their financial support to Chessam, a development she said has enabled her association to establish new chess playing clubs at Mthawira, Kambuyana, Manondo and Chiputu primary schools based in Dowa, Kasungu and Lilongwe rural.
She added that the increased sponsorship from the two companies will go a long way in helping her association achieve its goals of developing the sport in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :