Saturday 25 May 2019

CSC Training Day Tour 2018-9: Leeds

It was great to be back on the road for the CSC Training Day Tour, especially as our plans for the March and April tour dates had to change, meaning the last date was in Newcastle, two months ago.

This was our third time in Leeds and a warm welcome followed by a successful day is always virtually guaranteed.

Chess often takes place behind mysterious doors, including this one.

The weather was fine and the trains were on time (which had hardly been the story of the week). The delegates soon assembled and they brought an excellent set of skills and experiences from the worlds of teaching, libraries and competitive chess. Everyone had their own unique skills and everyone was in the mood to share. Comfort zones were triumphantly shattered. I could hardly ask for anything more.

One of our delegates was just 13 years old and already wanting to put back into chess more than he can ever hope to take out. This is a new record, breaking that of the two 14-year-olds who attended my Glasgow Training Day back in October 2018. Yes, the much-maligned youth of today really do know how to make a difference - and are not afraid to spread some much-needed positivity in this strange old world.

I was delighted to be reunited with my excellent friends Chris Fegan (CSC's Chief Operating Officer) and Dan Staples (Yorkshire's Regional Organiser, among many other things). Chris had travelled down from London to make the opening remarks and to see the delegates in action and Dan was there to answer questions about recruitment and various other topics. Dan also showed his exemplary hunter/gatherer skills when it came to lunchtime.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of food for thought on display too. All of the delegates rose to the challenges brilliantly.

I was genuinely thrilled to be working with such an excellent group of people and I didn't want the day to end.

Thank you, everyone! Now let us see what we can all go and create together.

We conclude with a gallery from the day, which will hopefully help to convey some of the hard work and fun we experienced during this excellent day in Leeds.

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