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Chess for the Blind enrolls 60 children

Chess for the Blind enrolls 60 children
March 20
09:24 2018
  • Demand has compelled lowering of age from 15 to five years

Baitshepi Sekgweng

Following its much-publicised launch in January this year, the Limitless Minds Chess Academy has thus far assisted 60 visually-impaired children who are all enrolled in the academy’s “Chess for the Blind” programme that commenced in February.

Limitless Minds Chess is the brainchild of former Botswana Chess Federation mouthpiece Neoyame Katisenge who established it to take chess to marginalised communities, people living with disabilities and the disadvantaged in general.

It was inaugurated on February 3. Katisenge explains: “Our current programme has 60 children who aged between 5 and 17 years. We are using the pyramid method but have had to widen the base in order to enroll more kids. We were supposed to start with 15 year olds the demand was such that we had to lower the age to 5. We have so far conducted 10 training sessions.”

The programme is currently conducted by five facilitators who are qualified national instructors and international FIDE arbiters. Most importantly, they are experienced in working with the blind.

Katisenge continues: “The programme is in partnership with the Botswana Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted and Mochudi Resource Centre for The Blind. So far we run midweek and weekend lessons for the visually impaired kids at the centre. We are planning an event in which we can invite all stakeholders to come and witness progress made.

“We have designed our roll-out programme basing on what we have and can acquire within a specified period. We are doing things one step at a time to ensure quality delivery. Plus we are not limited to people living with disabilities. We also cater for the able-bodied.”

Katisenge revealed that Chess for the Blind will be rolled out to Francistown and Jwaneng next month. Some of the programmes to be implemented include introduction of chess at Dukwi Refugee Camp and inside prisons. Online tournaments in collaboration with Africa Chess are in the pipeline.

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