Rocklands Library is also a Centre for Chess in Mitchell's Plain
Chess in Mitchell's Plain received a boost when Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, presented 24 chess sets to the Rocklands Library, one of which is an outdoors set. The Minister's gift was in recognition of the continuing excellence of the Rocklands Library.
Head Librarian Ms Theresa Denton declared her passion for making a difference in her community. The library has won many awards from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), including the "Most involved community library" and "Best public library" awards. Librarian Ms Marlene Nelson is responsible for starting the chess programme. She describes chess as a "powerful mind relaxer, a way of overcoming obstacles and a way of developing mathematical and competitive skills".
Mr Eldo Smart, President of Western Province Chess, thanked the library for providing a venue for the youth to play chess and said his organisation would provide coaching. His vision is for the library to become a central chess hub for the community and the youth.
The Minister warmly thanked the pupils of Caradale Primary, Lantana Aftercare and Hillside Primary for their presence at the handover and their participation in the chess tournament that followed. He thanked teachers, parents and librarians for teaching children to play chess and for emphasising the value of learning to play this complex game. He encouraged libraries and museums in the Western Cape to promote chess by making chess boards available in every public venue. Dr Meyer said playing chess helps people to be disciplined, to make the right choices and to strive towards success. He expressed the hope that chess-playing among the youth of Rocklands and Mitchell's Plain would help to decrease violence in this gang-ridden area.
Adv. Lyndon Bouah of the DCAS Sport and Recreation division said that R150 000 has been put aside for chess and that some of this money has already been used to support Braille chess.
Nine-year old Seth-Riley Adams had his many chess awards set out on display. He played against Dr Meyer on the outdoor chess set in the library courtyard.
The library's chess programme initiative, with the support of the Department and the vision of the Minister for developing the youth of the Western Cape, shows that when members of a community stand together, they can achieve great things.