The GCU Students’ Association Chess Society was established in November 2015. Since being formally activated the club has grown in size quickly, with over 20 members signing up in just 4 months. Based on their achievements, the society was presented with the Best New Society of the Year award at The Big Ball 2016.
- Who: GCU Students’ Association
- When: Since November 2015
- Where: Glasgow, United Kingdom.
The Chess Society have big aspirations for the future. They have successfully established a success- ful relationship with Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, USA and frequently play chess tournaments through Skype.
Currently, the society are looking to help disadvantaged schools in the local community engage in chess and make it more accessible. They have set up an “Honesty Box” in the Students’ Association building in order to raise money. Drinks and snacks are left on a table, each item only costs 50p to buy. The money is put in the Honesty Box and collected at the end of the week by a society member. The money raised will be used to buy GCU branded chess sets which will be donated to schools around the Glasgow area. Members of the Chess Society will go to these schools to help teach the pupils how to play the game.
Beneficiaries & Stakeholders:
As part of GCU Students’ Association, the society aim to work towards the Common Good.
Their ultimate aim is to engage with and enable pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to play chess and enhance their educational experience in the process. It also helps to make children aware that GCU could help them to achieve their long term goals in future if they decide to undertake a degree course.
Insights & Conclusions:
Chess is a very effective way to engage with students from all cultures and backgrounds. Many members of the Chess Society are international students, and find that playing chess can help them feel more welcome. It also allows them to practice speaking English in a relaxed environment.
Chess has helped to establish relationships between GCU and other universities, such as Strathclyde and Grand Canyon University. This has been beneficial for all involved, as it has allowed resources to be shared and different styles of chess to be explored.