Chess Future Promising
23 JUNE 2015
By Segametsi Kebonang
Lobatse — Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng, says chess has a brilliant future in both play and administration.
Speaking at the Botswana Chess Federation annual general meeting in Lobatse recently, Reikeletseng said he was proud to be associated with what chess had become lately. He applauded the sport leadership for uplifting chess as a play from where it was some years ago to where it is now.
He said, though not receiving much sponsorship as other sporting codes, chess deserves to be a highly rated sport after football as it has achieved a lot with less resources at its disposal.
He said the sport has been able to have highly rated players and administrators competing and being recognised in the international arena, thus taking chess as a sport to yet another level.
He advised the federation to ensure that they concentrate more on improving play and the players more than they do on administrators as a lot has lately been done with regard to improving the sport administration.
He noted that he was proud to realise that chess players were well represented in the just ended Sports National Council Awards as it had nominations even in the most prestigious award of Sports Person of the Year.
He advised the federation leadership to come up with “a brilliant and winning proposal” to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development so that chess is incorporated in the school curriculum. He also encouraged the federation to ascertain excellence in all that they do in order to attract more sponsorship to the code.
“It is very important that you use the funds that you get from various channels to bring forward quality as this has proven to be the attracting factor in sourcing more sponsorship,” he said.
For his part, Botswana Chess Federation president, Tshenolo Maruatona said the annual general meeting came at the right time as it offers all chess affiliates a chance to sit under one roof and introspect, chart the way forward for Botswana chess and resolve outstanding issues.
He said chess as a sport has come to be recognised as one of the forces to reckon with as it has shown a lot of growth throughout the country.
Though not all has been achieved in chess play and administration, Maruatona said the federation is working round the clock to ensure that improvement is made.
However, chess federation affiliates expressed concern at the stagnant growth of competition at local level and the non availability of capacity building for both players and administrators especially at club level.
They also requested the federation executive to give more attention to the development of sport especially at grass roots level.