by Prince Adeyinka Adewole
Nigeria Chess Federation
It was a great pleasure to have the FIDE’s Chess in Education Commission team in Nigeria. Mr. Jerry Nash and Ms. Anzel Laubscher arrived in Lagos, Nigeria on Monday 17th July, 2023, and were well received by the NCF team.
They got straight to work with a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Ministry of Education in the company of the FIDE VP Mr. Lekan Adeyemi, the NCF President DIG Sani Mohammed, rtd., NCF VP Prince Adeyinka Adewole as well as some other members of the NCF board. Mr. Jerry Nash, on behalf of his team, expressed to everyone his excitement at the visit, his first time in Africa and Nigeria. Mr. Nash explained how he has seen chess improve the mental state of kids and how much of an impact chess has on their growth. He hopes this can be replicated in the students here in Africa and that is why he and Anzel has come to train the teachers here on how they can help their students become great chess players and even better students.
The team was welcomed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry as well as the directors of various departments under the ministry. The Permanent Secretary showed his appreciation and expressed his great pleasure in the plans FIDE have lined up in order to increase the awareness of chess amongst children in a bid to build a greater future for them. The Ministry is willing to sign a
memorandum of understanding with FIDE in a bid to help get more instructors involved in the FIDE Chess in Education plans.
The training commenced on Tues. 18th with a total of 36 students in attendance from different schools across Nigeria and ended on Thurs. 20th with the test taken. While the training was going on, NCF had other events planned for the FIDE Chess in Education
Commission which included visits to Sterling Bank, one of the major sponsors of Chess in Nigeria, and has shown their great support for Chess in Education by creating a program within the bank to cater for that. Mr. Nash also paid a visit to Platform Schools, Lagos who won the National School Chess Championship and will be representing Nigeria at the World School Chess Championship in
Kazakhstan in August.
We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Mr. Jerry Nash, Ms. Anzel Laubscher and all the members of the FIDE Chess in Education Commission for their great efforts and contributions in making this trip possible, and for providing the training materials. The importance of this trip cannot be overemphasized, as this has gone a long way in improving the relationship NCF has with the Ministry of Education and by implication the Lagos State Government. The next plans we intend to implement is to get this opportunity across other states in the country, and with the signing of the proposed MoU with Lagos State, we’re certain all other states will be excited at this idea and will be willing to also have this program included in their syllabuses.
On a final note, we wish to specially thank FIDE and the IOC for their support!