Chess flourishes in St. Lucia!
St. Lucia St. Lucia St. Lucia

"Chess-in-Schools more than just a game," The Star Online, 21 May 2007 (Castries, St. Lucia)

The game of Chess continues to flourish in St Lucia with the organization of tournaments within some of the island's schools. The Chess-in-Schools project being managed by the National Community Foundation (NCF) was implemented in November 2005 through a pilot project comprising nine schools. Interest in Chess has grown and to date twenty-five schools at all levels of the system are part of the Chess-in-Schools project.

In December 2006, the NCF hosted a two-day chess training seminar for representatives from all participating schools. Fifty participants comprising teachers and students were able to develop and expand on their knowledge of the game. Five of the participants are now skilled in the art of organizing and running tournaments.

The winning team, from left to right - Zebion Alexander, Ryan Casimir, Kirby Joseph, Darrion Forbes

Last week, executive director of the NCF, Jacintha Lee presented prizes to students of the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School who were champions of their school's inter house chess tournament. Students from two houses, Heron and Oriol emerged winners. The first place winner was Kirby Joseph from Heron House. Second place was captured by Darrion Fobes of Oriol House with third and fourth place winners being Zebion Alexander and Rayan Casimir respectively from Heron House.

The NCF is in the process of planning for an inter-school chess tournament during this school term. All schools that are part of the Chess-in-Schools Project are expected to participate. The goal of the Chess-in-Schools project is to use chess as a medium to help develop critical thinking skills, build self-esteem, engender discipline, foster positive social skills, promote academic achievement and empower children to succeed. Chess has been shown to improve thinking skills as well as academic performance.

The corporate sector has recognized the importance of the game and has given financial and in-kind support to the Foundation. NCF recently received a donation of $5,000 from EC Global, a subsidiary of the
Eastern Caribbean Financial Holding Co Ltd. Other corporate entities that have given assistance to the Chess in Schools project are 1st National Bank, Coco Resorts and CMMB.

Original Article

Posted by The Chess Drum: 24 May 2007