16 Aug 2017 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 16 AUG (NAMPA) Twelve Namibian junior chess players will on Thursday travel to Harare, Zimbabwe to compete in the African Schools Individual Chess Championships.
Three officials will travel with them to the championships set for 19 to 27 August.
They received national colours from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) on Wednesday.
NSC Chief Administrator, Freddy Mwiya said during the capping ceremony the team consists of individuals as young as eight years old, and the commission expects them to enjoy themselves and gain experience to bring medals home.
He noted how chess is a sport of the mind and its positive effect on players academic progress.
The game of chess is growing in the country and I hope in the near future all schools in the country will have players that will compete at the national championships, he said.
Lilian Jansen, 8, said during the ceremony that she is nervous ahead of the competition but ready to compete.
Another athlete, 13-year-old Kisha van Wyk who has represented Namibia abroad since the age of seven, said she is well-prepared for the competition and intend doing her best to earn medals for Namibia.
Representing Team Manager Menecia Hinda, Namibia Chess Federation Vice-president Rowan van Wyk said players have been preparing for a while and he is confident they will bring back medals.
He said players have throughout the years gained experience from similar competitions in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.
About 400 players from 16 African countries affiliated to the World Chess Federation are expected to take part in the annual event.
The championships are a developmental tournament for under-7, under-9, under-11, under-13, under-15 and under-17 players in Africa.
Winners of each age group will get the right to participate in the 2017 World Schools Individual Chess Championships.
Team Namibia comprises Ottillie Hinda, Lilian Jansen, Lure Horn, Kisha van Wyk, Taisha Uris, Patience Tsuses, Galeshewe Jane, Ditshaba Jane, Jazzmo Kotze, Kevin Guirab, Manfredo Gaoseb and Anthony van der Meer.