Aston Pride is grooming and schooling a fresh crop of chess buffs in the NDC area. Through the Community Chest Fund, a grant of £2,400 has been made available to Newtown Knights Junior Chess Club – to help them develop youngster’s interest in the beautiful game.
Newtown Knights are based at Newtown Community Centre, and offers chess training from complete beginner to expert level. The club meets every Monday from 4-6pm at the Centre and anyone in Aston aged between 7 and 16 years can join up.
With NDC support, the Pride area club has employed a chess coach, Russell James, to increase the skills of young enthusiasts. Russell is an English Chess Federation Accredited coach who has helped develop many international standard junior players. Russell is also responsible for the development of junior chess in Birmingham – in his role as Warwickshire Junior Secretary for Chess.
Newtown Knights Junior Chess Club is the brainchild of Sharon Brown whose vision is to see a future chess champion that was born or bred in the area. Sharon: ‘Chess is a game for all people and cuts across cultural boundaries. To children it is a fun and stimulating mental exercise, and can provide huge educational benefit. Playing chess also improves concentration, social skills and aptitude at problem solving.’
Aston Pride Independent Chairman Simon Topman had this to say: ‘I think it is fantastic that there is now a chess club in the area for local children.There are many positives in playing this great sport; not least it can help wonders in improving concentration levels as well as improving maths skills. Children who play chess from a young age will reap the benefits at school and in their working careers. ‘