Thursday, 19 October, 2023
Vodafone Fiji is proud to announce its partnership with Fiji Chess, committing to a year-long sponsorship program that will champion diversity, youth empowerment, and the future of chess in the country.
Fiji Chess Federation is a dynamic and growing community dedicated to promoting the ancient sport of chess throughout the country. The partnership with Vodafone Fiji heralds a new chapter in chess history in the region, one that reflects inclusivity and empowerment, particularly among the youth.
At the helm of Candidate Master (CM) Taione Sikivou as President and reigning National Chess Champion, FCF managed to win the attention of Vodafone Fiji when it bagged 3 nominations in the 2023 Fiji Sports Awards for Sports Team of the Year – Fiji Chess Olympiad Team, National Male Athlete of the Year – Provisional FIDE Master (FM) Rudr Ravi Prasad of The University of the South Pacific, and Sports Volunteer of the Year – CM Goru Arvind.
Commenting on the diverse sponsorship commitments, Vodafone Fiji's Head of Sponsorship Adriu Vakarau, stated, "We are thrilled to collaborate with Fiji Chess to promote diversity in sports and stimulate intellectual growth through chess. Chess is a universal game, and our partnership will reflect this inclusivity by encouraging participation from all corners of the country. As part of this sponsorship, Vodafone Fiji is committed to a range of initiatives focused on nurturing young chess talent. This commitment aligns with the company's broader mission to invest in empowering, enabling and encouraging diverse sports initiatives in the country”.
In the past 4 years, younger chess players like Yash Krishen Maharaj of The University of the South Pacific, Prashant Sarup, Avinesh Nadan, Prashil Prakash, CM Ronald Terubea, Provisional Women’s Candidate Master (WCM) Cydel Terubea, Provisional WCM Tanvi Radha Prasad, Arnav Lal of Jai Narayan College, Masau of Dudley Intermediate School, Useli Herath of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Primary School, Michael Samuela of Marist Brother's High School, Yajas Sharma of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Primary School, Kaelan Sharma of Yat Sen Primary School, Yash Prasad of Deenbandhoo Memorial Primary School, Lewis Koroi of Gospel High School, Makayla Sukhu of Suva Grammar School, Zayne Elmond Keshwan of Jai Narayan College, Kartik Chand of Vunimono High School and Lionel Vaurasi of Yat Sen Primary School have had an improving impact on the sport in Fiji, with some of them represented in the 2023 Oceania Zonal Chess Championship and the 2023 Oceania Youth Zonal Chess Championship in Australia.
Fiji Chess and Vodafone Fiji have outlined a series of youth empowerment programs, including school tournaments for talented young players, and initiatives to create a strong platform for aspiring enthusiasts to develop their skills. Through these programs, Vodafone Fiji aims to help young individuals build life skills such as strategic thinking, problem-solving, and resilience.
“The chess community in Fiji is thrilled to partner with Vodafone Fiji who have agreed to help our sport for at least the next 12 months,” states General Secretary Goru Arvind. “Our team is signing a contract for a record value of $ 25,000 which is the highest for chess in Fiji from any local sponsor since 1979. The inclusion of Vodafone Fiji into the equation is timely and appropriate, as we have online platforms like chess.com, lichess.org and YouTube that allow people of all ages, backgrounds and interests to try out the sport from the comfort of their laptop, mobile phone or tablet using Vodafone. Online chess is a variant that surpasses all geographical barriers.”
Between 2020-2022, Fiji’s chess players scored against a range of countries in the 2020 FIDE Rapid Online Olympiad, 2021 FIDE Rapid Online Olympiad and the 44th World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India with positive results over Pakistan, New Zealand, Aruba, Ghana, Japan, Laos, Seychelles, Macau, Somalia, Guam, Brunei Darussalam, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Togo, Myanmar, Bahrain, Oman and Guyana to name a few.
The collaboration between Vodafone Fiji and Fiji Chess marks a significant milestone for chess development in Fiji. The partnership will foster inclusivity, provide opportunities for youth, and create a thriving chess community in the country. Vodafone Fiji is committed to bringing this vision to life and looks forward to a year of exciting chess activities and growth.
Upcoming events under the newly formed partnership are the Vodafone Fiji National Under-20 Rapid Chess Championship and the 2023 National Chess Championship which will be played over 5 days under 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move time-control.
Further details will be announced via the official Fiji Chess Federation Facebook page before each monthly event.
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