Limpopo MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Onicca Moloi, presided over the proceedings. Photo: Lizzy Bapela
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Limpopo Sport, Arts and Culture MEC, Onica Moloi, dispatched chess sets to schools from across the Waterberg at Mokopane on Monday 26 June.
The sets were given out on the occasion of the launch of the Chess in Schools Programme, held at the Mokopane Education Multipurpose Community Centre.
In attendance were officials from provincial, district and local government.
These included, among others, the Department of Education, local municipality sports desks, chess clubs, schools’ sports officials, Love Life and the Academy of Sports.
The MEC has prioritised chess as a sport with the potential to draw the interest of many youngsters.
It is generally agreed that chess is a sport that enriches the mind, increases one’s IQ level, and also nurtures a culture of problem-solving for participants, regardless of age.
The Waterberg event was the launching pad for the chess in schools programme earmarked for the broader province.
In attendance was also the Director for Youth Development in the Office of the Premier, Donald Selamolela.
He said it was envisaged a chess champion would metamorphose from the programme.
Selamolela said the challenges of illiteracy, unemployment, substance and drug abuse, and other social ills, could be reduced if young people spend more of their spare time in sports activities.
Moloi said in her keynote address the Limpopo-based sports heroine Caster Semenya stood out as a source of inspiration to the youth.
She said her department would be working with municipalities in order to ensure dysfunctional sports facilities were repaired.
The MEC further said township and village kids would be encouraged to take part in sports codes such as swimming, rugby and cricket.
“We are also going to work with municipalities to identify areas to place giant chess sets, starting from next month. We urge municipalities to start identifying the areas to place the sets, and we also intend to place them in taverns, in order to reduce alcohol consumption,” she said.
A brief chess clinic was conducted during the event with one of the sponsors, The Ranch Hotel, giving away two vouchers to the best players.
The popular chess movie, Queen of Kwate, was screened at the end of proceedings.
8 months ago 06 July 2017