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blink | bmobile Foundation helping local draughts players make their best move

No time for chit chat as these young ladies focus on their game
No time for chit chat as these young ladies focus on their game
“Trinidad and Tobago’s two top-ten placements at the Pan American Draughts Championship last year are proof that the country has the potential to shine in this sport”, said Rufus 
Foster, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Draughts and Checkers Association. 
 
Mr. Foster was speaking following the conclusion of the Third Annual Primary School Draughts Tournament, supported by the blink I bmobile Foundation, in which more than 150 pupils and 42 schools participated recently. 
 
blink | bmobile’s Executive Vice President, Natasha Davis, said “We value the opportunity to be a part of this sport that does so much to develop our young children, helping them to achieve discipline and grow mentally from an early age. We began our sponsorship of this tournament in 2011 and look forward to continuing our relationship with the Trinidad and Tobago Draughts Association to the benefit of our country’s children who participate.” 
 
Mr. Foster said that the South Americans are very strong draughts players, but Trinidad and Tobago’s results in the 17th Pan American Senior Draughts Championship show what can be achieved by players receiving good support. “We had some very good results, matching stride by stride with the top Pan American countries,” he said. 
 
He was especially grateful, therefore, for blink I bmobile’s continued sponsorship of the schools tournament this year, because it meant more children were able to receive prizes and be encouraged to persevere in learning the sport. “Normally, we would give trophies for the first three places, but now we were able to extend trophies to the top seven players,” he 
explained. 
 
Mr. Foster said the children began training for the tournament in January of this year. However, he would like to see coaches assigned to the schools year-round. He pointed out that in Brazil, Curaçao, and Suriname, draughts is a part of the school curriculum and draughts coaches in those countries receive a monthly salary. 
 
He highlighted the contribution being made to the development of draughts in Trinidad and Tobago by Mr. Harm Wiersma, of the Netherlands, a six-time world draughts champion who attended the entire schools draughts tournament, and who has been conducting training sessions with local coaches over the past several weeks. 
 
Mr. Foster said that draughts is a game for both the young and old, so that “their minds are very active from the cradle to the grave.” He said children involved in the sport become more disciplined and are helped to develop mature judgement. “It also helps them to deal with both success and losing,” he said. 
 
The winner of the Girls’ tournament was Syniah Subit, of the Sangre Grande Hindu School, which also took home the schools’ trophy. Runner up was Mya Monticeux, followed by Akeliah Forde in third place, and Elena Panchoo in fourth place. Winner of the Boys’ tournament was Gerald Durity, of Guaico Government Primary School, which took home the schools’ trophy for boys. Runners-up were Garvin Cazabon in second place, followed by Tyrese McIntosh in third and Josiah Stanley in fourth place.