Chess champ pleased with gift

2016-06-16 06:00
Anroux Marais, MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport, at the handedover of chess boards at Nazeema Isaacs Library, in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, on Monday. PHOTOS: Mbongiseni Maseko

Anroux Marais, MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport, at the handedover of chess boards at Nazeema Isaacs Library, in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, on Monday. PHOTOS: Mbongiseni Maseko

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It was smiles all around for players and coaches as Anroux Marais handover chess tables at the Nazeema Isaacs Library in Makhaza in Khayelitsha on Monday.

Marais is the Western Cape MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport.

The handover forms part of the department’s plan to encourage every library in the province to provide the youth with access to the game of chess in order to contribute to mass participation, talent identification and positive youth development.

Marais said chess is not only a game to the children, but also acts as a guide for them to follow the right path.

“We want everyone in the province to have access to the game of chess. It teaches you to take good decisions in life and also to make the right moves. It makes you realise that every move you take has consequences,” Marais said.

The event was attended by learners from primary schools, their coaches and Friends of the Library, which is a Non-Profit Organisation.

Loyiso Mdokwe, coach of Khayelitsha Chess Club, said the tables will surely make a positive impact in promoting the game in the area.

“It will make a huge difference, promoting chess. We will now be able to attract more residents to get involved in chess,” Mdokwe said.

Mdokwe appealed to anyone, regardless of age, to come and join their club which is based at Kuyasa Library.

Sinoxolo Sokoyi, 13, South African Top Schools champion, also applauded the handover of the tables.

Sokoyi won the national title in Pretoria in 2014, which she succesfully defended last year.

She said chess is good for sharpening the understanding of maths and for academic improvement.

“Chess is good for me to me as it helps me to master maths. It enables me to concentrate. I encourage anyone to play chess, because it has many benefits,” Sokoyi said.

Sokoyi is currently busy preparing for this year’s SA Top Schools Championships which will be held at the University of KwaZulu Natal from July 10 to July 15.

“I will defend my title again,” she added.

Sokoyi is due to represent the country in Zambia in December.

She was selected to represent the country in Botswana, a few months ago, but she could not go as she did not have a passport.

Simphiwe Tyira, a Senior Librarian said the handover of the tables will help keep children occupied and away from drugs and ill disciplined activities.

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