Government gives Chess players $2 million boost

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August 29, 2016
Sports Minister, Honourable Oliva 'Babsy' Grange (centre right) presents president of the Jamaica Chess Federation, Ian Wilkinson with a cheque during a Courtesy Call paid on the Minister at the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport on Thursday, August 25. The two were joined by members of the team that will represent Jamaica at the 2016 Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, September 1-14. Contributed

Sport Minister, Honourable Olivia 'Babsy' Grange has presented the Jamaica Chess Federation with a special contribution of JM$2 million towards preparation for the 2016 Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijani, from September 1-14.

The Federation had received $750,000 previously and was presented with the remaining $1.25 million on Thursday. The contribution was made through the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).

"The Jamaica Chess Federation has done extremely well under the leadership of President Ian Wilkinson. You have had your challenges with not having enough funds to do all that you want to do and that is why when you asked for help so that you could make it to the Olympics I did not hesitate," the Minister said.

Minister Grange said the special contribution was a demonstration of the Government's commitment to support the development of all sports.

In encouraging the players, Minister Grange said, "I really want to congratulate you on your achievement so far and I anticipate that you will continue to do well and make Jamaica proud. I know you will go out there and do your best."

The Minister said she will be exploring possibilities for partnership to expand the chess programme in schools and communities across the island. According to her, more people should be playing chess as it can assist in problem solving, logical thinking and developing analytical skills.

"I have been having bilateral discussions with various countries and we may be able to seek assistance in building the chess programme here in Jamaica," she added.

The Jamaican delegation depart the island today.

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