Chess in schools


Jumbo chess boards have been presented by Wakefield Rotary Club at two city schools. Rotarian Roland Mold helped set up chess clubs at Sandal Castle Primary School and Sandal Magna Academy.

As part of a European initiative to encourage young people to take up chess, for several years Wakefield Rotary Club has been involved in promoting the game in schools. The effort has been led by Rotarian Roland Mold and has also seen the club providing prizes for special competitions in the Wakefield Junior Chess Championships.

Roland has been involved in a volunteer reading programme at Sandal Magna Community Academy since 2003 and in 2005he started up a school chess club, teaching pupils to a level that led to success at local competition level. Now he is helping the recently-launched chess club at Sandal Castle Primary School 

Roland is a member of the Rotary club’s vocational committee whose chairman, Martin Perry, is a governor at Sandal Castle school and it was at his invitation that Roland joined in the chess activities at the school.

AS PART of the Rotary Chess Initiative, the Wakefield club presented a magnetic chess board in November 2009 which is now being used for teaching the game to students at the city's Sandal Magna junior school.

The club has given chessboards and sets to various schools in the area.

Roland said: "I've been doing this work at the school for six years now and it's a real pleasure to see the joy and interest the youngsters get from learning the game and taking part in it competitively."

Wakefield junior chess championships

FOR the third time junior schools in Wakefield have faced one another across the chequered boards to compete for a Rotary chess trophy.

The Stanley Grundy Memorial Trophy award, presented by the Wakefield club, honours a Rotarian from Teddington who launched the Chess Initiative, a charity that provides funds to encourage chess among young people.

The competition took place at Lofthouse Gate school, which received £50 for its funds. Its team clinched the under-9s title but they were pipped at the post in the under-11s section by St Austin's school, who took the main trophy.

Cups and medals were presented by Wakefield Rotary Club president, David Pickover, who congratulated all those who had taken part. Adjudicator for the day was John Newsome, well known for his contribution to junior schools chess in the Wakefield area.

Rotarian Roland Mold, who set up the Stanley Grundy trophy, said: "We hold the competition each March, as near as possible to the 7th, which was the day on which Stanley died three years ago. This year (2009) we were able to hold it on the exact anniversary."

The Wakefield club is involved in promoting chess to young people in various ways and has given chess sets to several schools.

Photograph above

ONE of the schools the Wakefield club has ‘adopted' through its chess and literacy initiatives is Sandal Magna J & I. Here Roland Mold is pictured with the school's team, which came third in the under-11s chess competition.