Pyxus, Chessam launch chess clubs in Dowa schools

The Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) with financial support from Lilongwe based Pyxus Agriculture Malawi Limited has established Chess playing clubs at Chiundila and Chunzu primary schools in Dowa District that aim at enhancing knowledge of the sport to the pupils.

Speaking during the launch of the clubs in Dowa on Friday, Chessam President Susan Namangale said her association decided to establish the clubs in the two primary schools as one way of developing the sport at grassroots level in the country’s rural areas.

Ready to play Chess. Pupils of Chiundila primary school

According to Namangale, establishment of chess playing clubs in the country’s public primary schools is one of her association strategic goals that aim at identifying talented boys and girls who can compete both at regional and international levels.

“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 Pyxus Agriculture Malawi Limited for providing about K2 million that enabled her association to establish the chess playing clubs at the two schools which she said would go a long way in helping the association to achieve its goals of developing the game across the country.

According to Namangale, with the financial support from Pyxus, her association has recruited two trainers who will be visiting the two schools on weekly basis to drill the pupils on the tactics of the game. In addition, Chessam has also managed to buy chess boards and other playing materials which it has donated to the schools to be used during training sessions.

Kawonga (left) and Namangale (middle) making a symbolic handover of the chess materials

In his remarks, Corporate Affairs Officer for Pyxus Agriculture Ben Kawonga said his company decided to support Chessam with its project of developing the sport in rural based schools because it can also help kids to do better in class as chess improve concentration and decision making.

“We decided to support Chessam because our aim is to reduce the probability of children being involved in child labour 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 Kawonga .

Kawonga however urged 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.

Chiundila primary school head teacher Titus Kamanga commended both Chessam and Pyxus Agriculture Malawi Limited for establishing the chess playing club at his school saying it will help many from dropping out of school and eventually do better in class.

“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 these kids to perform better academically,” he said.

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