Sunshine Beach State School learners are taught to play games and then encouraged to compete in tournaments! Recently three girls from the school entered the Sunshine Coast Chess Championships accompanied by their coach Peter Cam, President of the Noosa Shire Chess Club Inc.
Organised by Gardiner Chess, the largest chess coaching company in Queensland, the tournament was held in Lake Kawana Community Centre. Their vision is to foster a love of chess in children so that they can reap the rewards educationally and psychologically.
Peter Cam, who runs a ‘Chess Club’ as part of the school’s extracurricular program, believes that there are a multitude of benefits in children learning chess. He believes that concentration and problem solving skills are increased, along with memory, strategic thinking and decision making. The social aspect with many children is often ignored as interaction is not often noticed. However, a growth in self-esteem is often noticed.
Jane Lethlean, Academic Talent teacher, believes that when it comes to technology in the classroom, it’s all about balance. ‘Chess is the perfect way of having a digital detox. There are no barriers when playing chess and students of all ages are encouraged to participate in our program. Peter has done a fantastic job.’
Year 4 student Adara walked away with three wins, while classmates Priya took home one win and Tia two wins and a draw.
Peter commented that ‘I have seen a great improvement and a love for the game. It's great to see those kids that have applied themselves achieve some success.’
Sunshine Beach State School has an extensive extra-curricular program catering for all interests. Chess is just one of the many activities offered during either their breaks or after school. The provision of diverse opportunities is something that comes from the school’s strong Glasser philosophy and their devotion to shaping the whole child.
Peter hopes to see chess grow, not only at Sunshine Beach State School but across all schools. ‘My idea going back a few years was to have chess implemented into the curriculum at schools. This is happening in many countries worldwide with huge benefits. What Gardiner Chess have been doing has been fantastic. Having at the very least Chess Clubs within the schools competing in scholastic tournaments is the immediate goal.’