Kouga Express

Game changing donation aids chess player

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Theunis Saayman, owner of Jacks Bagels Jeffreys Bay, has helped Jayden Jantjies (15) from Jeffrey’s Bay Comprehensive High School to go on a chess tour.
Theunis Saayman, owner of Jacks Bagels Jeffreys Bay, has helped Jayden Jantjies (15) from Jeffrey’s Bay Comprehensive High School to go on a chess tour.
Photo: Marcia Boyena

When Jayden Jantjies, a 15-year-old chess player from Jeffrey’s Bay Comprehensive High School, heard he had been selected to represent the Sarah Baartman chess team in the Eastern Cape Provincial Championships, his excitement was soon dampened by the idea of the large sum of money he needed to pay to be able to attend this tour.

Enter Theunis Saayman, owner of Jacks Bagels Jeffreys Bay. The moment Saayman was informed of the efforts to help a young chess athlete compete in the championships, located in Komani (formerly Queenstown), he immediately reacted to the call to action.

With the help of Jacks Bagels’ headquarters in Gqeberha, Saayman donated the funds for Jayden to be able to participate.

When asked why he had decided to help this learner, whom he didn’t know, Saayman said he was inspired by the story of this young man who not only chose chess above all other sports or activities but excels in the sport and is dedicated to the wonderful game.

“Where inspiration begins is the motto of Jacks Bagels and that is where we must begin, to help those who inspire,” said Saayman.

Jayden started playing chess only a few years ago, with a small gap in between for soccer. He decided to fully commit to the sport for the past year and a half. He says that he plays on the chess sets at school, because he does not have a set of his own.

He plays online with his friend, Tamia, who is also in the Sarah Baartman District team.

“I’m teaching my friends how to play chess as well.”

Why he chose this specific sport, Jayden replied that chess has helped him immensely in his schoolwork, especially mathematics.

“A lot of things are going on around me, and chess helps to calm my mind. It helps me to think more openly about things and even calms my temper if I’m being honest. Chess is my first sport; I will play for the rest of my life.” When asked about how he felt that a local business would sponsor his tour, Jayden said that he was in shock to think that someone would take this weight off his shoulders.

He was preparing for the idea that he might not be able to go, and now he cannot only attend this tournament, but also many more to come.

The president of the Sarah Baartman chess federation, Petrus Stuurman, said that they were extremely excited to be able to represent the district for the first time where children as young as six years old make up this incredible team of almost 70 players.

Stuurman would like to thank all who have assisted the team on all levels, from individuals like Jacks Bagels to involvement for the whole team, namely Mia van Daalen from Old Mutual, the Fountains Mall and the local Kouga Municipality.

  • For more info on how to assist one of the chess players chosen to represent the Sarah Baartman district, contact Petrus Stuurman via one of the following channels:

E-mail: sbdchess@gmail.com or phone 083 974 1924.

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