For many sport disciplines, inclusiveness is always a priority in order to give everyone a fair chance in the game. The same goes in the world of chess, as the National Sports Commission fuels a Deaf Chess Workshop.
The Workshop, which is being hosted in collaboration with the Deaf Association of Guyana, affords the opportunity to disabled students to learn the game of chess. Furthermore, the Workshop also educates their teachers so that they would be able to continue the game play in classrooms.
The Workshop, which is now in its third year, has a number of objectives, which the Deaf Chess Club hopes to meet. A few of these objectives include adding Deaf Chess Club players to the local chess players’ database and hosting the first of a strategically structured tri-annual training/coaching session for chess players from the club.
Speaking with Guyana Times Sport, FIDE approved Chess Coach Wendell Meusa disclosed international hopes for the upcoming players.
“We have been training kids in an effort to groom them to represent Guyana one day in this category of chess. As we know, chess is a mental sport and it has been contributing to the development of these kids,” he explained.
Furthermore, he went on to state that measures have been put in place to keep the students avidly playing the game.
“The aim of this is to keep these kids under guidance and regular training, so one day they can participate on the international level representing Guyana,” Meusa said.
While the programme caters for some 40 students from New Amsterdam, East Bank, West Coast, Linden and Georgetown, a handful of teachers are also benefiting from the programme, with the objective of overseeing the game in the classroom. Meusa is responsible for training teachers while Candidate Master Ronuel Greenidge oversees the children.
Anita Lall, a teacher at the Tuschen Deaf Academy who has been a part of the programme since its inception, shared her thoughts on the benefits of the Workshop.
“Well, it’s a brainstorm and it’s a nice game, the children they really like it. It builds a mind of interest for them,” she explained.
When questioned about the academic advances that the game encourages, Lall answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, it helps in finger counting too, because it involves Maths. And it helps with spelling,” she said.
The three-day programme which caters for students from 10-21 is expected to conclude today with a certification ceremony. (Jemima Holmes)