Provincial Chess hosting online competition to raise funds

The Western Cape Chess Association will be hosting an online Nelson Mandela Day Chess Festival on 18 July 2020. The Federation, a member of the Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation, will dedicate this tournament to the memory of the father of our democracy.

Andre Lewaks, president of WC Chess Association, says they realise the very important role of sport in the creation of social cohesion and nation building, especially in an unequal society such as South Africa.

Lewaks added: As Western Cape Chess we remain inspired and humbled by the words of the father of our nation who once said that “the true character of society is revealed in how it treats its children”. (Nelson Mandela, 27 September 1997).

It is for this reason that we will be hosting the Mandela Day Chess Festival because we would like to encourage all chess players, the sporting community and South Africans in general to take responsibility to show love and care to less fortunate kids in rural and urban poor communities.

As much as we expect this tournament to be one of the strongest online tournaments in South Africa, we would like every person that can play chess to show solidarity by entering to play. All proceeds of this event will be donated to less fortunate kids that do not have access to quality coaching.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the chess community has largely migrated to playing on online platforms. Lewaks said they realised that this might have been to the disadvantage of thousands of chess players especially kids that would really like to take part in competitions.

Research on the State of ICT in South Africa in 2018 revealed that about 50 percent of South Africans have access to smart phones and much less have access to data. Only about 40 percent of people in rural areas have access.

The president said with this initiative they would also like to encourage all South Africans to donate their used smart devices (smart phones and laptops) to less fortunate kids that do not have the means to play online.

They believe that this option will be the most empowering because it will enable kids to play online and open up a world of communication to them whereby the kids will be able to use these devices as a means of communication as well as to support their school work during lockdown. 

Another voluntary option that players have in order to fulfil their Mandela Day duty is the option to pay more than the entry fee. In that way they can donate the rest of the entry fee for this good cause. We also realise that in the past people have spent their Mandela Day by painting a building or cleaning the community.

Due to the Corona virus it is not safe to do so anymore. The public therefore now have a safe option to simply donate any amount, even as little as R20, to support our Mandela Day fundraiser, added the president. 

He continued: Let us all unite in true Madiba style and make a kid smile. They are the future of our country. We therefore call on the broader sport community and society in general to support this initiative. For more information contact Andre Lewaks at president@wc-chess-assoc.co.za or call Ricardo Minnaar on 081 546 2221.

Chess players of all ages and abilities are welcome to enter – from under 8’s to Prestige players can compete for the prize money that will be on offer. Online registration is available at https://tinyurl.com/yaa8r7s6 or check Chess Western Province on Facebook.

Banking details for entries and donations: Western Cape Chess Association, Nedbank, Cheque Account, Account Nr: 1068091940, Branch code: 198765   

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