17:23, Friday, 7th April, 2017

Report from 2nd CMAT Tour to Namibia – IM Rodwell Makoto (By CM Charles Eichab)

The visit by IM Rodwell Makoto took place less than 6 weeks after the highly successful visit of GM Pontus Carlsson. The tours have come at an excellent time as there is a growing preoccupation with chess in Namibia in general and at a school level in particular. There is therefore a far larger interest and need for chess training then at any other time in our chess journey. The sessions have helped us a lot in our quest to build a huge base of chess players and the train-the-trainer program has been a blessing to help us find the missing pieces in our chess development as a country.

As with the previous tour, the IM’s sessions were very well structured. Friday was used as a recap and a chance to get to know each other while the weekend sessions were split between practical advise to the trainers on Saturday and more theoretical approaches on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday included school visits where the coaches were given their first opportunities to deliver lessons in actual classrooms.

SUMMARY OF DAILY ACTIVITIES

24 March 2017 – Our first training session was conducted in the Thuringer Hof conference room where IM Makoto had a chance to meet all the trainees. The session was a mixture of a recap on the use of databases and a chance to learn about teaching methodologies.

25 March 2017 – The Saturday class was loaded with practical advise for the coaches. The topics ranged from how to deal with overbearing parents to issues of typical conflicts experienced by an average coach. Rodwell explained how to teach different types of children and the girl-child in particular. In all these areas, the IM seem to be quite adept and offered ready and good advice to the coaches.

26 March 2017 – Whereas GM Pontus focused on building up the individual strength of the coaches and dealing with their particular needs, IM Makoto zoomed in on teaching methodologies and how to approach the different aspects / phases of the game. We spent an entire day learning Opening, Middle-game and Endgame themes and how each should be taught. Many of the key ideas were drawn from the IM’s own praxis.

27 March 2017 – The first group of the trainees visited Gammams Primary School which is one of the oldest public schools in Windhoek. The IM had a chance to interact with the learners but most importantly to assess the trainers.

28 March 2017 – The second group of trainees visited Khomas High School for their assessment where they also had an opportunity to deliver lessons and receive feedback from Rodwell on areas where they could improve.

29 March 2017 - IM Rodwell left for Johannesburg after a fantastic week. We thank him for his time and look forward to tackling the various assignments that have been left behind for each trainee to complete.