Thursday 7 March 2019

Brand New Shadow

We are no strangers to shadows here on Teesside. Who can forget the impact made by my excellent friends Andrew MacQueen, Sean Cassidy and John Lydon? Yes, Teesside always enjoys visits by the shadows and all are welcome to return any time they like.

This week it was the turn of Jo Hutchinson, who had been present at my highly memorable Hull Training Day. Jo travelled all the way from Scunthorpe to shadow me for two full days in a couple of our Teesside schools.

The first of the two days was spent at The Links Primary School and Jo had a very good day teaching the children of Y4, Y5 and Y6 and facilitating rounds of the Delancey UK Schools' Chess Challenge.

A post-school chess challenge was issued and, try as I might, I could not distract my illustrious opponent from the game.

Even a celeriac and mushroom risotto failed to prevent intense analysis of our moves...nor did a very green smoothie from Mint Hobo.

The second day was spent at Park End Primary (stars of The One Show), where, of course, virtually every member of staff is as chess-mad as the children.

It was a day of Y3s and Y5s; six groups of children in total. Jo even found the time to play some of our excellent chess-playing staff, including the wonderful Miss King, who put up a very good fight in a Dutch Defence.

Then, fuelled by a wonderful Park End lunch... was time for a big game with Mr Tapner.

Sorry, Mr Tapner - but that is checkmate!

Jo was excellent company and I hope we can work together again very soon.

The only problem is...the children all now want Jo to be their regular chess teacher, instead of me! (Eh...!?)

Thank you to everyone at both The Links and Park End for making the two days such a wonderful experience and for giving Jo a great Teesside welcome.

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