On 9th July 2013 Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) was presented with the Innovative Project Award at the 2013 Sport and Recreation Alliance Awards sponsored by specialist insurance company Hiscox. The award was presented to the charity’s Chief Executive, Malcolm Pein, by HRH The Earl of Wessex at St. James’s Palace in London after the charity impressed the judges with their ground-breaking initiatives.
With studies showing a clear link between playing chess in primary school and improved concentration and educational attainment, CSC has doubled in size in the past year and is now operating in over 200 schools across England and Wales. In March 2013 CSC launched its first Charity-Public-Private initiative to teach 20,000 children how to play chess in the London Borough of Newham. Working with Newham Borough Council, and East Village, the charity now teaches chess in 14 primary schools in the borough, and aims to extend its programme to the remaining 50.
Tim Lamb, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said:
“This award recognises the blue-sky thinking that Chess in Schools and Communities has shown over the past year. “Chess is a cerebral activity and the people behind Chess in Schools and Communities have really thought big to take the benefits that chess brings to thousands of children up and down the country. The judges were amazed at the scale and ambition of the project and it really is an inspiration to all other sport and recreation organisations in the UK”.
Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive of Chess in Schools and Communities, said:
“We are delighted to receive this award – it’s proof that chess, the most enduring of games, first played 1500 years ago, remains a fun and stimulating pastime for the young generation, even in the modern age. With the £1000 prize money from the award we plan to give 500 talented players from deprived areas their own chess set so they can continue to develop their skills.”
Malcolm Pein receives the Innovative Project Award at the Community Sport and Recreation Awards 2013
from HRH The Earl of Wessex and sponsor of the award Sam Franks from Hiscox
David Sedgwick of the English Chess Federation, said:
“Chess in Schools and Communities is far and away the most important initiative in English chess in the last 15 years. “I’m delighted that their hard-work has been recognised outside the chess community and I am sure that this will spur them on to even greater success”.
The Sport and Recreation Alliance is the umbrella body and trade association for the governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation in the UK. It represents more than 300 members – organisations like The FA, the Rugby Football Union, UK Athletics, the Ramblers, British Rowing and the Exercise Movement and Dance Partnership
The Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Community Sport and Recreation Awards (formerly known as the Sports Club of the Year Awards) have been running for more than 20 years and embrace the wealth of sports and recreational organisations that carry out excellent work in their local communities. The awards are decided by a panel of independent judges drawn from across the sports world, chaired by BBC Radio Five Live’s Eleanor Oldroyd.
The Innovative Project award is sponsored by Hiscox, an international specialist insurance and reinsurance company with offices in 11 countries, 1,400 staff and customers around the world. With over 100 years of underwriting expertise, they work with businesses, not-for-profit associations and individuals to provide insurance that is tailored to suit often complex and unusual insurance needs – including the needs of sports and recreational clubs and sporting events. Hiscox are delighted to be involved in this year’s Community Sport and Recreation Awards and support the wealth of recreational organisations and bodies that work hard to make a difference in their local communities.
Chess in Schools and Communities has trained more than 200 accredited chess tutors to go into schools up and down the country. They provide 10 lessons per term during class time as well as putting on inter-school events and competitions. Links to research showing the ability of chess to improve educational attainment can be found here.