The first-ever North-Western Chess Open Tournament ended in Solwezi last weekend with the sponsors, Kansanshi Mining Plc, saluting the significant female participation in the event staged in partnership with the Chess Federation of Zambia (CFZ).

The guest of honour, Kansanshi Mining Plc Public Relations Manager Godfrey Msiska, declared that the company valued the importance of sports at the junior and grassroots levels as evidenced by its involvement in sports, such as chess, cycling, football, athletics, boxing, rugby and basketball.

Announcing that Kansanshi would continue searching for hidden talent among the youth in North-Western Province, Msiska said the company had been pushing for female participation in sports, such as cycling, as it had a number of female cyclists on its development team.

“We are very happy to see female players at this tournament, which discredits the perception that chess is a male-dominated sport. The game of chess has now joined the list of sports we shall continue to support as part of our corporate social responsibility,” Msiska said.

And speaking during the official opening ceremony, CFZ president Mukubulo Chilufya thanked Kansanshi and Trident College for coming on board to sponsor the tournament.

The College offered its facility for the tournament, while Kansanshi covered the costs of logistics.

“The Chess Federation of Zambia and Kansanshi Mining Plc have had a great relationship since 2009, when the mine sponsored a junior chess player, Martha Tarzy Sichalwe, from Solwezi, to take part in the African International Chess Competition, which took place outside the country. We can see that we still enjoy this relationship because even in this tournament, Kansanshi Mine has come on board to significantly support the event,” said Chilufya.

One of the ladies, Constance Mbatha, was among the women taking part in the North-Western Chess Open Tournament.

The chess tournament, held at Trident College, was open to both male and female players of all ages, all skill levels and from all communities and attracted more than 70 participants from five provinces: North-Western, Copperbelt, Lusaka, Eastern and Southern.

Kansanshi Mining Plc also sponsors football and netball in 28 schools around Solwezi in its ongoing efforts to foster sports at the junior level.

– Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.