PwC officials at the 7th Chess4Change initiative at the Mobolaji Okoya Thomas indoor sports hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere

No fewer than 250 students from 18 public secondary schools in Lagos are currently jostling for honours at the 7th edition of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) “Chess4Change” initiative.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 7th PwC “Chess4Change” initiative which kicked off on Wednesday,  is ongoing at the Mobolaji Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.

The competition has in attendance about 18 schools from four Education Districts in Lagos state.

PwC “Chess4Change” initiative is an annual grand slam game, designed to be used to improve strategic thinking and critical reasoning among secondary school students in the state.

The Principal Partner, PwC, Pedro Omontuemhen, told NAN that the PwC “Chess For Change” initiative remained a major Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the company cherished.

“PwC believes in CSR and we want to make impacts in the society. We are supporting the game of chess because of its many advantages.

“Chess is a game that can be used to influence the thinking faculty of the children because we want to make impact so we are targeting the vulnerable children.

“We want to change or rather, influence their thinking, behaviour and academic performances and that is the reason we have stayed this long for seven years.

“The reports from the previous editions have been fantastic so far because the children have been able to assimilate the leadership skills taught at the games,” he told NAN.

Omontuemhen also noted that PwC would like to give the `Chess for Change’ initiative a shot at expansion given its many impactful response.

“We recently got a report that one of the boys that participated in one of our games is already a chess master. This has shown to us that we are getting it right.

“We are not just improving the students academically, they are also taking a right step in their sporting career.

“For us in PwC, we want to do more, we want to give the game a shot at expansion reaching out to more schools in the Education Districts in Lagos State.

“We will also appreciate if more organisation will join us to make the championships a national game having participants across Nigeria,” he said.

The Country Head, Marketing and Communication, PwC Nigeria, Sylva Ifedigbo also said that the PwC Chess4Change was a fusion of mentorship programme and sports.

“It is a chess and mentorship programme combined to make the children better people in the future.

“Aside the games, some of the PwC staff are also present to mentor the children in life skills, time management and advice on how to stay away from crime.

“The Chess4Change initiative is one of the flagship CSR of PwC because it is helpful in having positive impact on the children.

“Some of the children who have not encountered chess before are given the opportunity, which they are happy to be part of,” he said.

NAN reports that the participating schools  include Birrel Avenue Senior High School, Eva Adelaja Girls Senior Secondary School, Bariga; Immaculate Heart Comprehensive Senior Secondary School, Maryland and CMS Girls Senior School, Bariga.

Others are Ireti Senior Grammar School, Ikoyi; Eko Akete Grammar School, Lagos Island; Wahab Folawiyo Senior High, Osborne; Falomo Senior High School, Ikoyi.

Also participating are Kuramo Senior Secondary School, Victoria Island; Government Senior, Victoria Island; New Era Senior Secondary School, Surulere, Government Senior College, Eric Moore; Jubilee Model Senior Grammar School, Iganmu.

Sari Iganmu Senior Secondary School, Orile; Euba Junior Secondary School, Mushin; Unity Junior High School, Oshodi and Eko Boys High School, Mushin are also included. (NAN)