Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) will soon have a home, having received a US $10,000 (About MK4.6 million) grant from world chess governing body International Chess Federation (Fide) for setting up a secretariat.
Zambian based Fide Vice President Lewis Ncube brought the good news last week, when he paid a three-day visit to Malawi to check on progress for the Fide Chess in Schools programme initiated by the mother chess body in 2012.
A total of 15 personnel were trained as trainer of trainers and development instructors by the world chess body in November 2012. The trained personnel were expected are to carry training of both teachers and school students.
Speaking after discussing with representatives from the Chessam executive board on progress for the programme, Ncube disclosed that Fide had approved a US $10,000 grant for Chessam to set up its own secretariat.
“We have been empowering some African chess federations through the provision of grants for setting up offices. Programmes like Chess in Schools cannot go on smoothly if the association does not have offices to operate from,” said Ncube.
He said the money, which had already been wired into Chessam account from the Fide secretariat in Athens, Greece was meant for paying rentals, buying office furniture and other office equipment like a desktop computer and printer.
Chessam president Kezzie Msukwa hailed Fide for the donation, which he said will help improve the image of chess in the country.
There are about 40 sports associations in Malawi and only a handful of the associations have offices. Amongst those that have secretariats are Football Association of Malawi, Athletics Association of Malawi and Malawi Olympic Committee.