Botswana: Young Chess Player in Uganda

Letlhakeng — Thuto Mpene, the 10-year-old chess champion, will take part in Africa schools championship chess tournament scheduled for Uganda from tomorrow until July 4.

Mpene, who was bid farewell at Letlhakeng main kgotla, was expected to leave for Uganda yesterday to join other chess champions.

Bidding the young chess player farewell on Monday, Letlhakeng Sub-council chairperson, Thomas Batlhophi congratulated Mpene for doing well in chess and representing Botswana in the international stage.

He said sport could earn a living for players and families, and encouraged the young man to keep aiming higher.

He said he should know that he was representing Botswana and should raise the country's flag high.

Batlhophi further said Mpene had what it takes to perform well and bring a medal home. He applauded his parents for supporting him, saying it was the support that had propelled him to win chess tournaments.

His father, Keemenao Keresiane said he was proud of his son as they helped him to grow interest on chess.

He said when Mpene was a toddler, together with the mother, they played chess at home, and the young boy developed interest in the sport, and they supported him ever since.

Keresiane added that they contacted Botswana Chess Federation and with the assistance of Vincent Masole, Mpene participated in a chess tournament at Oasis Motel where he took position three.

He stressed that chess needed a lot of support and sponsorship while the players needed to participate in many tournaments, especially outside the country where they could get rated. Mpene's father and mother will accompany him to Uganda and they believe he will perform well.

For his part, Mpene said he was happy for the support his parents and teachers had always given him, and that he would continue to do his best in chess.

Giving a vote of thanks, chief education officer, Magwaile Khao said Mpene was an inspiration to others who played chess.

He said through his win, many others would be motivated to excel in their sporting activities and many heroes would emerge.

Khao added that today's education encouraged talent identification at a young age, and that it gave players an opportunity to nurture their talents.

He said the likes of Nigel Amos and Isaac Makwala had inspired many to dream and were doing well on the international stage.

Source : BOPA

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