A MATHS teacher at a Brampton secondary school is encouraging students to experience the benefits of playing chess. 

Holden Davies teaches mathematics at William Howard School. However, when he is not in the classroom he is honing his chess skills, and alongside fellow teacher Jim Connolly, has created a weekly chess club that is going from strength to strength. 

Holden also recently won the Higgins Castle Trophy at the Cumbria Chess Association's Cumbria Individual Championship 2023-24 but is now focused on promoting William Howard's rising club. 

He said: "Myself and Jim Connolly have put a lot of work into the club and we have tried to start a number of initiatives with the club, rather than it just being a place to play chess.

"We are doing chess puzzles and tournaments so there is a real competitive element that the kids are enjoying... they want to come down and test their mettle against other students. 

"You also get students who want to come down and have a friendly game of chess so it is a very diverse atmosphere."

In addition, Holden discussed how the benefits of being part of the club go much further than just chess but are also assisting students in their studies and helping them develop key life skills. 

He said: "You get so many of the kids making new friends at the club and it encourages the kids to get involved with the chess - it is a great way to bond with others and that has been great to see. 

"One of the biggest reasons we like to push the chess club is because it also has huge benefits towards patience, concentration, social skills, impulse control, and it teaches the kids about consequences.

"These skills not only translate into chess but also into their wider lives."