Jacob Zuma Chess Tournament open doors for youth



Wilfred Gwabeni’s determination to participate in a competitive chess tournament and to play a game with the country’s first citizen got him more than what he had bargained for.

Gwabeni, who is visually impaired, boarded a taxi from Mabopane, in Pretoria to Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal with his father to showcase his skills and get a rare opportunity to meet President Jacob Zuma in person at the annual Jacob G Zuma Chess Tournament which is played by participants from KwaZulu-Natal’s 11 districts.

After the tournament and a short game against the President, President Zuma offered to buy aeroplane tickets for Gwabeni and his father to fly back on their return journey to Pretoria. The 20-year-old will also be considered for a bursary by the Jacob Zuma Foundation should he pass his matric this year.

President Zuma applauded Gwabeni for his commitment to achieve his goals.

He said the game of chess is good for the development of the mind as it encourages critical and tactical thinking and problem solving skills.

“I have been informed by the Minister of Basic Education that they are considering the possibility of integrating chess into the school curriculum, instead of it just being one of the sporting codes played at school. There is evidence that in schools where chess is played academic performance improves,” said President Zuma.

The chess tournament was part of the bumper sporting weekend in KZN which saw thousands of young people participating in several sports activities around the Province.

The Department of Sport and Recreation (KZNDSR) is supporting a number of initiatives that are aimed at encouraging the youth to be responsible and to stay away from unproductive activities during the summer holidays festivities.

The Jacob Zuma Soccer Tournament, which was played in Eshowe on Saturday, was attended by SA football’s top brass including President of the South African Football Association (Safa) Danny Jordaan, Mamelodi Sundowns President Patrice Motsepe and football legends from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Ilembe District team won 5-3 after a penalty shootout against eThekwini.

President Zuma said he is engaging with relevant stakeholders to ensure that teams and players from other provinces also participate in the annual event so that more talent could be exposed to talent scouts.

Meanwhile, young people from Umgababa, south of Durban, participated in different beach sports activities during the Tizozo Sports Against Crime Festival at Umgababa Beach. The event is part of a series of Summer Beach Festivals that are supported by KZNDSR and Municipalities along the Province’s coastline.

The aim is to encourage responsible behaviour, especially when swimming in the ocean, dams and swimming pools. People are also encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyles, stop substance abuse, spend wisely and protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections. Activities include beach volleyball, beach football and lifesaving demonstrations.

The next Festival will be held at St Michaels Beach in Port Shepstone on Saturday, 26 December 2015. The series moves to Blythdale Beach in KwaDukuza on 26-27 December, the I-beach Lifestyle Festival takes place at Dokodweni near Mandeni on 27-29 December, followed by the Richards Bay Festival on 31 December and 01 January 2015.

The Beach Festivals are scheduled as follows:

AREA

DATE

MTHWALUME BEACH FESTIVAL

16 DECEMBER 2016

UMGABABA BEACH FESTIVAL

19 DECEMBER

BLYTHDALE BEACH FESTIVAL

26-27 DECEMBER 2015

MANDENI BEACH FESTIVAL

27-29 DECEMBER 2015

HIBISCUSS – ST MICHAELS BEACH FESTIVAL

26 DECEMBER 2015

RICHARDS BAY BEACH FESTIVAL

31 DECEMBER 2015 – 1 JANUARY 2016

                                                  

  
 
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