in Schools and Communities – Highly Commended
The winners of the Sport and
Recreation Alliance’s Community Sport and Recreation Awards, formerly
the Sports Club of the Year Awards, have been decided for 2012. Outstanding
sport and recreational clubs, projects and schemes were recognised that spanned
golf, rowing, sailing, archery and included an innovative bike project that
helps young people with mental health issues to lead independent lives.
This year’s winning organisations represented a move away from more traditional
categories to include a wider variety of activities, including a pioneering
chess project that has been rolled out in state schools with ambitious plans
to eventually reach every school in the UK.
Chess in Schools and Communities is a registered charity based in
108 schools in 18 local authority areas. It encourages the teaching and playing
of chess in state schools and inner city communities, organises world-class
chess events to encourage mass participation and promotes the educational and
social benefits of the game. In the schools in which they operate, chess often
serves as a bridge – bringing together children of different ages, races
and genders in an activity they can all enjoy. For children with adjustment
issues, there are many examples where chess has led to increased motivation,
improved behaviour and self-image and even better classroom attendance.
This is incidentally the first occasion on which a mind sport has been recognised
in these prestigious awards. Andrew Farthing of the English Chess Federation
commented: "I'm delighted that the Sport and Recreation Alliance has recognised
the wonderful work being done by CSC in this way. The idea that chess can bring
social and educational benefits to primary school children has long been well
known within the chess community. CSC is making this a reality in an increasing
number of schools, and the Alliance's commendation is a worthy reflection of
both the charity's ambitions and its success to date."
The awards were presented at the Alliance’s Annual General Meeting
held at St.
James’s Palace on Thursday 19th July.
Malcolm Pein receiving the certificate from the Alliance’s President...
...HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex
Malcolm with Nevil Chan, National Coordinator of Chess in Schools and Communities
The reception at the palace after the awards ceremony
Chess in Schools and Communities
(CSC) is a new charity that uses the ancient game of chess as a learning tool
in classrooms across England and Wales. The charity, formed in September 2010,
teaches chess to children in class as well as organising the traditional after
school and lunchtime clubs, showing that chess, a game that crosses all social
barriers, is for all children and not just the academically oriented. CSC delivers
chess sets, chess tutors and a 30 week chess curriculum that emphasises cross
In December, CSC will be bringing 1000 children in their 'Urban Chess' program
to Olympia to enjoy free training and sample the London Chess Classic, their
flagship event which will include five of the world's top players including
world number one Magnus Carlsen and world champion Vishy Anand.
“Chess in Schools and Communities has already reached over 100 schools
and we plan to involve 400 schools and teach 30,000 children the game over the
next two years in inner city areas.” commented Malcolm Pein, CSC chief
executive. “It's wonderful to see our work, and the role chess can play
in improving educational outcomes, recognised in this way.”
Chess in Schools & Communities was featured on BBC Breakfast on BBC One
and the BBC News channel:
Should chess be taught in school?
It is an ancient game which was once used to teach young knights and princes
about military strategy. But should every child in Britain be expected to learn
chess, while they are still at primary school? There is growing support for
the idea of putting the game on the national curriculum. Tim Muffett reports
from a primary school in Birmingham.
Featured schools: Rednal Hill Infants School, Birmingham & Ravenscroft
School in Newham, London.