The English Chess Federation has secured a ground breaking new commercial sponsorship that should provide a huge boost to chess in schools. Holloid Plastics Limited of Basingstoke has agreed to manufacture 250,000 chess sets free of charge for distribution to schools in England.
An announcement was made at a gathering, held at the House of Commons on 17th December that was arranged by Vera Baird the Solicitor General and MP for Redcar & Cleveland where representatives of the England Junior Squad met MPs.
Sets are now in manufacture and although the sheer scale of distributing this number of sets is beyond the limited resources of the ECF, through the good offices of Charles Wood, a junior chess organiser from Bradford, arrangements are being made to transport some sets to different parts of the country.
The Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye, Michael Foster is supporting efforts to inform other MPs who have in turn encouraged schools in their constituency take up of this great offer. The response has been enormous. According ECF President Gerry Walsh 1700 schools have responded with some sets being distributed via constituency party offices.
Thanks are due to Holloid Limited’s Sales Director Fergus Christie, the inspiration for the project and Technical Director Keith Elliot who designed the sets.