Chess breathes new life into Bothasig library

Hayden Collings, 6, and his brother, Sky Collings, 9, of Bothasig, learning how to play chess. Picture: Tara Isaacs

Librarians Wilmaree May and Yolanda Yakhe have started a chess club to attract younger patrons to Bothasig library.

There was a buzz at the library, on Wednesday July 5, as children of all ages learnt the basics of the game.

Ms May said the library had mostly elderly patrons, and she wanted the youth in the community to also see it as a place for learning and entertainment.

“I decided to introduce chess to the youth of this community because it instills discipline and opens up a child’s mind, while they can have fun,” she said.

She hopes to modernise the facility and is open to suggestions from the community. She would like to see chess teams from the library play against other chess clubs and possibly enter competitions.

Ms Yakhe said she hoped chess would be a fun way for the community to connect.

To date, 18 children aged 6 to 14 had signed up to learn the game, but people of all ages were welcome to join, she said.

“The idea is not to exclude anyone, as the young can learn from the old and the old from the young.

“Where I come from, we are taught about ubuntu, which means to bring people together, and that’s the aim here.”

Andy Kieswetter, of Bothasig, who is helping to teach chess at the library every Thursday at 3.30pm, said it is a “healthy distraction”, from the digital world and teaches one to plan ahead and think strategically.

The Bothasig Residents’ Association has donated seven chess boards to the library, and the association’s spokesman, Mario Borcherds, said keeping youth busy and off the streets was one of their top priorities.

Email to find out more about the chess club.

Librarians Wilmaree May and Yolande Yakhe have launched a chess club at Bothasig library. Picture: Tara Isaacs
Andy Kieswetter, of Bothasig, is teaching chess at the library. Picture: Supplied