Chess enthusiasts have advised parents on the need to encourage their kids to learn and be involved in the sport.
The chess enthusiasts spoke to the on the sidelines of a chess tournament organised by Rupetta Academy to celebrate the World Chess Day in Abuja on Thursday.
Katmaan Senlong, an Education Advocate
said the importance of engaging in the sport cannot be overemphasised.
“We are here to celebrate the international world chess day. This is a tournament to celebrate everyone that plays chess in Nigeria.
“I can’t overemphasise the unique skills you learn by playing chess; reasoning, logical thinking, strategic organisational skills, attention to details and most importantly to think outside the box.
“So, we are here today not just to celebrate the international world chess day, but also to encourage youths to embrace this noble game.
“They say it is a game for geniuses, but it’s actually for everyone because today we are celebrating the fact that we are family,” she said.
Selong who is also the CEO of Rupetta Academy, the Organisers of the World Chess Day Tournament, said there was a need to create more awareness about the game in the country.
She said the game needs to be introduced into the curriculum of schools and parents should be encouraged to enroll their kids into chess clubs, to teach them these unique transferable skills.
She noted that her academy was doing alot in this regard, adding that they were set to also organise a maiden Summer Tech, Swimming, Coding and Chess programme for kids within the ages of six to 12 years.
She revealed that at the club they combine unique opportunities for kids to learn how to code, play chess and swim, saying that it was a unique combination because it will teach them across the spectrum.
“They learn skills they will need to become fantastic leaders tomorrow such as; coordination, focus, discipline, concentration, paying attention to details, amongst others.
“I am sure these are familiar words in curriculum vitaes nowadays when one is applying for a new job.
“So, we are here to teach these children this skills because I am a firm believer in the notion that practice makes perfect.
“We are organising a maiden Summer Tech Swimmers Coding, Chess, and Swimming Club during the vacation period aimed at positively engaging school children in productive ventures.
“Indeed, this is the first-of-its-kind. It’s the maiden edition and that’s why we are making it spectacular by organising this world chess day tournament.
“The programme will run from July 24 to Sept. 4 and we will be giving out massive discounts and also making it affordable and accessible for kids that do not have this opportunity by providing scholarships for them.
“But for those that can afford it, they are going all the way to get it and we have unique activities in the Tech Swimmers’ Club. It’s N300,000 for the full package,” she said.
She stressed that the programme would be packed with lots of activities that kids would enjoy, but not only enjoy but skills they will need when they become employable.
“For instance, there will be classes on emotional intelligence and I can guarantee you that kids are not taught that in school.
“We are here to teach emotional intelligence because they need to first of all be aware of their environment, how their emotions affect other people and how they can control it.
“We are going to have health and fitness classes for them. We will be teaching them negotiation skills, presentation skills, to name only but a few.
“But not just that, we are also organising lots of event that will bring kids and young people together.
“Football for instance is going to be on the agenda. We are going to also introduce scrabble. These games are academic, intellectual and mind workout games.
“So, we will be encouraging young people to partake in this unique combination of games, activities and lectures,” she said.
Bode Durotoye, Chairman, Technical, Nigeria Chess Federation emphasised on the need for children to learn the game at a very young age.
“This is because it is going to be a gift for life. Chess is life generally and as you develop in life, you develop in the game too.
“I met a young lady here at the age of 10. She was crying after I defeated her, but I had to pet and encourage her that the game of chess was a continuous process.