I’m really excited about my plans to improve chess for children in Greenwich, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham areas of South East London. Chess is a Mind Sport that everyone, especially children, can become really good at. While the game is not new, it’s becoming quite popular again. Once considered a nerdy, geeky game, research shows that learning and playing chess certainly helps to increase confidence and self worth; both of which are a natural result of thinking in a different way and enjoying what you do.
Chess is increasingly being recognised as educationally beneficial to children and there are indications that more schools are taking the educational, social and sporting benefits of chess more seriously. There is evidence to show how the game of chess is being used as a valuable educational tool in some schools. However, little is known about how much Chess is actually played by children in our schools. So many studies have shown that children who play chess do improve their problem solving skills and perform better in school. Although most children can benefit from playing chess, many schools may be reluctant to teach chess because it is after all, just a game. The reality is that chess helps to build self esteem, develop friendships and teaches children about learning to play together, coping with defeat, winning gracefully and good sportsmanship.
My vision is to improve the image of chess for children in South East London and I will declare that I am very passionate about teaching children and young people how to play the game. Not only because there are so many educational and social benefits that can be taught and developed; but it’s the challenge that inspires and motivates me to communicate the benefits of learning chess to parents, teachers and policy makers. That’s what makes teaching chess so rewarding for me.
I believe that chess can make a real difference to a child’s educational and social abilities; and all that’s needed are some children, a few boards and chess sets, ample space and an adult or two that are passionate, enthusiastic and willing to teach them. When I run my chess groups in Greenwich and other areas of South East London participants always talk about how much fun they had and it will also be another chance for children and young people to learn and play chess together.
My chess clubs are a new approach to bringing chess out to people in the South East London community and giving them an opportunity to have a go at something they may not have tried before or may want to visit again.