Chess in Schools and Communities was shortlisted and highly commended in the annual Sport and Recreation Alliance's Community Sport and Recreation awards for 2012.

The judging panel, chaired by the BBC’s Eleanor Oldroyd awards sport and recreation organisations that have excelled in areas such as volunteer management, school links and green thinking. CSC, formed in September 2010, were not only shortlisted in the category of school links but were also highly commended for their innovative work in schools by the judging panel.

The charity teaches chess to children in class as well as organising the traditional after school and lunchtime clubs, showing that chess, a game that crosses all social barriers, is for all children and not just the academically oriented. CSC delivers chess sets, chess tutors and a 30 week chess curriculum that emphasises cross curricular links.

Chess in Schools and Communities wins Innovative Project Award

On 9th July 2013 Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) was presented with the Innovative Project Award at the 2013 Sport and Recreation Alliance Awards sponsored by specialist insurance company Hiscox.

The award was presented to the charity’s Chief Executive, Malcolm Pein, by HRH The Earl of Wessex at St. James’s Palace in London after the charity impressed the judges with their ground-breaking initiatives.

With studies showing a clear link between playing chess in primary school and improved concentration and educational attainment, CSC has doubled in size in the past year and is now operating in over 200 schools across England and Wales. In March 2013 CSC launched its first Charity-Public-Private initiative to teach 20,000 children how to play chess in the London Borough of Newham. Working with Newham Borough Council, and East Village, the charity now teaches chess in 14 primary schools in the borough, and aims to extend its programme to the remaining 50.

Tim Lamb, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said:

“This award recognises the blue-sky thinking that Chess in Schools and Communities has shown over the past year. Chess is a cerebral activity and the people behind Chess in Schools and Communities have really thought big to take the benefits that chess brings to thousands of children up and down the country. The judges were amazed at the scale and ambition of the project and it really is an inspiration to all other sport and recreation organisations in the UK”.

Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive of Chess in Schools and Communities, said:

“We are delighted to receive this award – it’s proof that chess, the most enduring of games, first played 1500 years ago, remains a fun and stimulating pastime for the young generation, even in the modern age. With the £1000 prize money from the award we plan to give 500 talented players from deprived areas their own chess set so they can continue to develop their skills.”

David Sedgwick of the English Chess Federation, said:

“Chess in Schools and Communities is far and away the most important initiative in English chess in the last 15 years. I’m delighted that their hard-work has been recognised outside the chess community and I am sure that this will spur them on to even greater success”.