On Tuesday, 14 November 2023, Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services, Jacquiline Pack, announced a half-a-million sponsorship for the Namibian Chess Federation (NFC) to run its chess developmental operations country-wide from 2023 to 2024. The sponsorship aims to provide resources for chess programmes, tournaments and educational initiatives across Namibia. Pack said that by investing in chess, the Bank supports the sport and invests in Namibia’s intellectual capital.
In her keynote address delivered at a press conference hosted in Windhoek, Pack said Bank Windhoek is not new to the chess fraternity and has been a partner in empowering the sports code since 2007 and has seen the establishment and roll-out of the Bank Windhoek National Junior Chess Championships across 100 schools. “Chess is more than just a game; it is a powerful tool for enhancing thinking and analytic skills, crucial in fostering intellectual growth. In a world increasingly driven by technology, the ability to analyse situations, think strategically and make informed decisions is paramount,” she said.
Pack added that the correlation between chess and numerical capabilities cannot be overstated. She said the game inherently involves mathematical thinking, calculation, and strategic planning, offering a dynamic environment for individuals to enhance their numerical prowess. “Chess, with its intricate moves and strategic complexities, catalyses honing these skills, providing a unique platform for individuals to develop their cognitive abilities,” she said.
Pack also mentioned that Bank Windhoek has partnered with the Ministry of Education and embarked upon a programme that seeks to capacitate teachers and learners with mathematical skills. “These initiatives are aimed at solidifying Bank Windhoek’s shared value as a financial institution in advancing numerical capabilities in our country,” she said.
The NCF’s President, Goodwill Khoa, thanked Bank Windhoek for the support and said that this will help the federation to provide the sport to the country. “This sponsorship is the largest domestic chess championship the Namibia Chess Federation has ever received. It comes at a time when we need it the most to enable us to host our national events and develop chess in all fourteen regions on a competitive level,” he said.
Khoa said that the success of chess is a collective effort and encouraged the sports community to take up the opportunity to grow the sports code since it is accessible to play and very inclusive.
Pack thanked NCF for the partnership and said that through these efforts, the Bank aspire to empower youth with the tools needed to navigate the challenges of the future confidently. “Let us join hands in promoting chess as a vehicle for the intellectual enrichment of our community, fostering a culture that values critical thinking, strategic planning, and numerical proficiency. Let us embark on this journey together towards a brighter future for Namibia.”
Recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a sport, chess is a board game for two players, White and Black, each controlling an army of chess pieces, aiming to checkmate the opponent's king. It is sometimes called international chess or Western chess. The United Nations found that about 70% of the adult population has played chess at some point and that 605 million adults play chess regularly worldwide.