Chess academy launched

(FROM LEFT) Check Mate Academy spokesperson Sylvester Machingura, director Prisca Sibanda and guest of honour Bruce McDonalds of Zimbabwe Music Academy

By Sindiso Dube

The success story of a Montrose Girls High School pupil, Tsepo Ndebele inspired businesswoman, Prisca Sibanda to form a chess academy dubbed Check Mate Academy.

The academy, in collaboration with the Bulawayo Chess Club, was officially launched at Montrose High School in Bulawayo on Saturday.

Check Mate, which will house students of different age groups, ranging from five to 22 years, was launched at a colourful ceremony which also hosted the academy’s debut tournament that saw 200 participants taking part. Sibanda said her motive was to uplift the minority sport and also help youngsters achieve their dreams.

“I was inspired by a story of Montrose Girls High student Tsepo Ndebele, who participated in the National Association of Secondary Headmasters (NASH) finals and will be representing the country at a chess tournament in Namibia,” she said.

“After her triumph, I followed up on her and heard a touching story about her family background and also how she may not be able to participate in Namibia because of her disadvantaged background. After that I saw the need for me to start this academy so that we won’t have similar scenarios in the future whereby people who are involved in minority sports do not receive enough support compared to other sports.”

“We hosted our first tournament which saw 150 kids and 50 adults, mostly from tertiary institutions participarting. We are looking forward to hosting more events. Bruce McDonalds of Zimbabwe Music Academy offered their premises for use during practice,” she added.

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