Leaders on the chessboard

From left, Siphamandla Nkosi and Veshanti Murugen receiving the Team of the Year award from a KwaDukuza official.

Umhlali Preparatory School’s chess stars scooped three major awards at the KwaDukuza Municipality Awards Ceremony held at the KwaDukuza Town Hall last weekend.

The school’s chess team was awarded ‘School Team of the Year’, while the chess coach, Siphamandla Nkosi won ‘Coach of the Year’ and Archana Datharam, a Grade 3 chess player received ‘Sports Woman of the Year.’

In 2016, Siphamandla Nkosi was appointed KZN head coach.

He is recognised locally, provincially and nationally for his arbitration and coaching prowess.

Nkosi, a KZN chess player himself, has been instrumental in producing many South African and KZN chess players at Umhlali Preparatory School and in the wider Illembe District.

Datharam has mastered the chess board for a couple of years now and achieved South African Chess colours at the tender age of seven.

Archana Datharaam is proud of her Sports
Woman of the Year trophy.

She participated in the 2016 African Youth Championships and the 2016 World Cadet.

Datharam won silver in the 2017 KZN Provincial Schools Championships and gold in the SA Closed Championships that same year. She attributes her success to her school, coaches and her supportive parents.

Also read: Fingers crossed for North Coast matrics

President of the Ilembe District Chess Association and Umhlali Preparatory School’s chess coordinator Veshanti Murugen, on acceptance of the School Team Award, recollected that in 2014 Umhlali Preparatory’s chess team was awarded KZN School Team of the Year and this recognition motivated the team to do even better.

Murugen praised the KwaDukuza Municipality for their initiative in hosting the first Municipality Awards Ceremony and sees this as a step in the right direction in promoting excellence and transformation in sport at all levels.

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Elana Geist

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