LAGOS – Obinna Ogbonnaya, an arbiter with the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), on Tuesday called for the establishment of chess academy to assist in the discovery of talents.
Ogbonnaya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the establishment of academy was necessary for grassroots discovery and to educate intending players on the rules and ethics of the sport.
“We need a chess academy, if possible, one in each of the six geo-political zones of the country to help in area of talents discovery and promotion of the sport.
“This is because there is lack of keen interest in the sport generally in the country; therefore we need to develop the sport from the grassroots.
“Updating ones knowledge in the game is necessary, because when the chess players are familiar with what is obtainable, they will be able to withstand their colleagues in intercontinental contests,’’ he said.
The coach was optimistic that a good foundation for upcoming chess players would produce proficient ones that would pave way for the glory of Nigerian players at the international competitions.
According to him, chess academy when establish should incorporate the normal school curriculum into the academic calendar, to avoid conflict between academy work and the sport.
“A well plan sport programmes and academy work will prevent the potential students opting out of the sport,’’ Ogbonnaya said.
He noted that there was abundance of talented chess players across the country.
“The establishment of the academy would not only help talents, but would also nurture them for the tasks ahead,’’ Ogbonnaya said.
He, however, applauded Nigeria Breweries Plc for sustaining the annual Chess competitions.
“The NB Plc annual competition has been a source of encouragement for chess players. They all look forward to it every year,’’ Ogbonnaya said.
The coach charged other companies to emulate the company in its quest to identify and nurture talents across the country. (NAN)