Press Release:- The Saint Lucia Chess Federation (SLCF) hopes to bring the game of chess to inmates soon, thanks to a recent donation via the National Community Foundation (NCF).
Last month, Michelle Phillips, NCF’s Executive Director, presented chess sets and chess clocks to SLCF’s President, Andy Alexander, at the NCF’s office on High Street, Castries.
Phillips said the chess sets and chess clocks were donated by Nelvin Alphonse, a Saint Lucian living in the United Kingdom, who contacted the NCF expressing an interest in contributing to his country.
The new programme at BCF will complement the Chess in Schools Programme already being run by the NCF.
The Chess in Schools Programme is one of the many programmes administered by the NCF, a philanthropic, non-profit, community-based, non-governmental organization that functions primarily as a grant making institution.
The SLCF usually assists the NCF in organizing the Chess in Schools Programme.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been forced to take a hiatus from the Chess in
Schools Programme,” Phillips said. “Nevertheless, the NCF was instrumental in establishing the chess federation in Saint Lucia.”
In 2018, the NCF was assigned two Peace Corps volunteers – Adam Hart and Chris Barfield
who worked on the Chess in Schools Programme, resulting in the creation of a chess manual for teachers.
Through the assistance of Hart and Barfield, the SLCF was established and has since
been certified by the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
Meanwhile, the SLCF President, an avid chess player and coach himself, thanked the donor for the chess sets and chess clocks, noting that the equipment will be used to teach the game to inmates at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF).
“We recently made contact with officials from the prison, but haven’t established everything yet,” said Alexander. “Hopefully, they will give us the okay so that we can make a change. It’s been shown that people leaving prison having learned the game are less likely to become repeat offenders. So we’re really looking forward to doing whatever we can in that regard.”
Headline photo: SLCF president Andy Alexander and NCF Executive Director Michelle Phillips believe chess can foster self-development.