Ashton Community Chess Club teaches children and young people aged 5-18 years old of all abilities how to play chess in a fun and safe environment.
The Tameside club attracts many Special Educational Needs children and those who struggle in social situations, providing vital life skills such as learning to win and lose, problem solving, perseverance and as an aid to academic performance.
The club was established in 2010 by David Hardy, an English Chess Federation affiliated coach who also teaches chess in 23 local schools. It has now become the centre for children’s chess excellence in Greater Manchester and is represented both at a regional, national and even international level.
During the pandemic, the critically acclaimed Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit” was released, following the life of an orphan chess prodigy, Elizabeth Harmon, during her quest to become an elite chess player while struggling with emotional problems, drugs and alcohol dependency.
Not only did the Queen’s Gambit increase interest in chess and people wanting to join Ashton Community Chess Club, but it also highlighted the how the game can benefit young people who may struggle with their mental health.
Chess is an affordable game to play, with new wooden chess sets costing as little as £10 each, but the benefits gained for young people, especially those with special educational needs is priceless.
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The ability of local community groups and organisations to best help people in their community remains dependant on maintaining support for them.
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Date added: 1st December 2022