The Tobago Scholastic Chess Challenge was launched last week at the Division of Infrastructure and Public Utilities Conference Centre, Scarborough, Tobago by the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Foundation (TTCF) and RHAND Credit Union Cooperative Society. All nine of Tobago's secondary schools are participating in the Challenge Programme, and school officials, teachers and students were on hand to receive chess equipment, courtesy of RHAND, to facilitate the establishment of chess clubs at the schools.
Over the course of the school term, the TTCF will conduct training for teachers at the participating schools. The teachers will in turn assist students in their preparation for the Chess Challenge which culminates in two tournaments: an individual and a team scholastic tournament.
Among the attendees present at the launching of this programme was Councillor Huey Cadette, Assistant Secretary of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports, Tobago House of Assembly (THA); Martin Minguel, president of RHAND Credit Union Cooperative Society; James Baptiste, branch manager of RHAND Tobago; and Edison Raphael, president of the TTCF.
Speaking on RHAND's support for the venture, Minguel said that the Chess Challenge programme offers an opportunity to foster the development of young minds through strategic and analytical thinking.
In the feature address, Cadette expressed the support of the THA and committed to cooperate with RHAND to ensure the success of the Chess Challenge Programme.
Raphael noted the benefits of chess in improving academic achievement and developing critical thinking skills. He also spoke of the importance of re-establishing chess among juniors in Tobago, citing the achievements of past Tobagonian chess players who became national junior chess champions of T&T.
This Scholastic Chess Challenge in Tobago has been adopted as part of RHAND's Skills Development Programme and represents another collaboration between the TTCF and RHAND to develop the minds of students through chess.