Kenya is among the 30 countries that have qualified to participate in the first world chess Paralympics 2020, which will take place from July 28 to august 5 in Russia.
This is after Kenya embraced inclusivity by including tournaments for players living with disabilities and women. In 2019, chess Kenya hosted the first Kenya national championship for persons living with disabilities and queen’s tournament that target purely women.
Currently, Kenya has over 100 chess players living with disabilities and about 1000 women with majority of them being students participating in chess.
Chess Kenya president Bernard Wanjala who is currently in Abu Dhabi for fide congress revealed that he is confident this will go a long way to boost the confidence of the players.
“We started this program of integrating people living with disabilities and we have seen transformation among this special family. I am happy they will get the opportunity to interact with the world to showcase their talents. We call upon the ministry of sports and other well-wishers to support the team,” he said. Chess Kenya head of women, physically challenged and other special groups Winnie Thitu welcomed the opportunity and called upon more persons living with disabilities to join the sport.
“This is an opportunity for us to fly Kenya’s flag high at the world indoor games and am glad we are the first among the few countries to represent Africa.”
According to the regulations, 30 federations are entitled to participate in the fide chess Olympiad 2020, competition for disabled.
In Africa, Kenya will be joined by neighbors Uganda, Egypt, Zambia and Zimbabwe to form the five federations representing the Africa continent in the Paralympics come July.
By Linda Amiani