Namangale set to introduce chess for physically challenged people 

Aspirant for the post of Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president, Susan Musa Namangale, says she intends to introduce the sport to the physically challenged people such as the deaf.

Playing chess in Karonga

Namangale said the idea was mooted on Saturday when she was on a business trip in Karonga where she interracted with acting vice-chairman for Northern Region Chess League Wakisa Mweghama.

According to Namangale,  during their discussion, Mweghama told her that the Northern Region League are now targeting to introduce chess in schools and they intend to include a school for the deaf.

“During our discussion, I saw that Wakisa has the passion for the sport, especially to penetrate into schools, which is one of my strong points in my agenda once voted into office [during the election scheduled for weekend of August],” she said.

“And his idea to include a school for the deaf in chess activities inspired me to include that as a national development agenda. Both Wakisa and myself are committed to this cause.

“If all goes well, Karonga will be the first to include chess to potential physically challenged players. I need chess players like Wakisa to help me implement such agenda and other planned activities for chess.

“My vision is to see chess move from being called a minority sport to a famous and majority sport. I pledge my support to all districts that take an active role to promote the game of chess.”

Namangale said there are in the process of working out modalities how to implement and achieve this ambition and they shall follow  the provision for physically challenged at world chess level.

“We therefore need to replicate and make chess inclusive in Malawi as well. ”

She said she didn’t know that there was an active chess club in Karonga though she knew that Wakisa was based there.

“So I linked up with him and I was happy with the existence of Karonga Chess Club. The club is vibrant under the leadership of Wakisa and to motivate them, I supported them with K20,000 which they used to have a mini tournament.

“It’s great to note that the club can be so inspired with such little money as they played with passion. Active chess in districts is a key focus of my agenda through establishment of zones to increase participation at district level.”

Wakisa said Karonga Chess Club was formed in 2010 by Matthews Mtumbuka, who is currently the chairman for Central Region Chess.

“Currently, we have 18 registered players and we usually play weekly chess tournaments which are individually sponsored. Our main challenge is insufficient chess materials and lack of sponsorship for tournaments.”

He said Karonga has two well established clubs and the other is called Baka. The best players there are two, Wakisa himself and Joseph Gondwe, who have been  regularly representing Karonga at national level and both of them are rated players.

Before becoming vice-chairman for the league, Wakisa was the treasurer from 2008 to 2010 and confidently says he managed to promote transparency and accountability of chess funds for the league and other benefits.

“Let me take this opportunity to thank the aspiring Chessam president Susan Namangale for the sponsorship of K20,000 chess tournament which we played yesterday. It was not little at all because it motivated us.

“The outcome of  the tournament has identified another sponsor, who has pledged to sponsor another tournament next weekend on July 28. Susan’s support was the first-ever sponsored chess tournament in the history of chess in Karonga.”

Namangale, who is all set to become first woman to compete for the post of Chessam president, has high on her agenda a plan to manage Chessam as an institution with proper facilities including an office and an administrator to manage office operations.

She has vision is to see chess development in all districts in Malawi and ensure increase of schools and ladies participating in chess activities and to ensure that there are enough resources to uplift the game of chess at grassroot level including chess boards and chess clocks.

Namangale will be up against Gershom Chima (the current general secretary) and executive member Mayeso Mphande.

Vying for vice-presidency,  currently held by Mark Chikoko, are Moses Mtumbuka and Stanley Mtuwa and for general secretary are Stanley Kafere, Isaac Mumba and Southern Region Chess League chairman Wasoka Chirwa.

Makhosi Nyirenda wants to retain his post of publicity secretary and he goes unopposed while Khama Chindole will contest for post of treasurer.

National coordinator for chess in schools Magret Ngugama is being challenged by Leonard M’bwana.

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