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Mid West Simon Competition Tournament - the winner Stephen Casey Bracken was named the “Chess Champ” and he was absolutely delighted with his win Mid West Simon Competition Tournament - the winner Stephen Casey Bracken was named the “Chess Champ” and he was absolutely delighted with his win

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Mid West Simon Community’s homeless residents set up Chess Tournament

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Mid West Simon Competition Tournament – Stephen Casey Bracken was named “Chess Champ” and was absolutely delighted with his win.

The residents of Mid West Simon Oak Lodge organised the tournament themselves out of a passion for chess

Mark Quinn International Master of Chess of Chessbud.ie
Mark Quinn International Master of Chess of Chessbud.ie

Mid West Simon Community held a chess competition for the residents of Oak Lodge emergency accommodation in Limerick on Thursday, July 7, with delighted Stephen Casey Bracken named “Chess Champ”.

The residents of Mid West Simon Oak Lodge organised the Mid West Simon Chess Tournament themselves out of a passion for chess.  Mid West Simon reached out to John Cassidy from Ennis Chess Club, who kindly volunteered his time and skills for approximately six weeks to help improve the resident’s chess skills. John’s expertise was required, as there were residents at various chess levels, and he also helped everyone to understand the rules, which caused some friendly arguments!


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The Mid West Simon Chess Tournament really helped residents to build relationships with one another, it also increased people’s confidence and self-awareness and gave them something to look forward to. Many residents claimed that chess is very therapeutic and great for the mind with so many different manoeuvres to learn. All the residents were in great spirits after the competition with a wonderful atmosphere in Oak Lodge. 

After many practice sessions, the finals took place on Thursday, July 7 in Oak Lodge. There were 2 semi-finals followed by the grand final in front of approximately 25 staff and residents. Mark Quinn, International Master of Chess with Chessbud.ie, gladly volunteered his expertise and time to judge the finals. After the games, Mark dissected the contest and showed the group different strategies that could be implemented in the future.

John Cassidy was also present at the finals and provided support and encouragement to the finalists. John has committed to continue volunteering at Oak Lodge after the tournament.

Jackie Leonard, Mid West Simon Community’s Head of Fundraising, said, “We are delighted with the success of the tournament and how well Thursday’s competition went. We hope the residents will continue to play chess in the future and we really look forward to supporting them and organising another tournament going forward.

“On behalf of Mid West Simon Community, I would like to thank the anonymous donor who helped fund the tournament – your support means a lot to the residents in Oak Lodge.”

About Mid West Simon Community:

Mid West Simon Community helps those who are homeless, at risk of homeless or suffering food poverty in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.  Last year, the organisation provided emergency accommodation for over 466 people in Limerick & Clare through our housing support services. 

It offers tenancy sustainment services to 79 families and individuals in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary, who now have homes in Mid West Simon Community properties. MWSC’s mission is to ensure that they can support clients to move from ‘surviving to thriving’ and to no longer having to live with the stigma of being homeless.  

Mid West Simon also operates Foodbanks in Limerick, Clare and a community Foodbank in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.  In 2021 a total of 10,713 people accessed the Foodbanks of which 4,731 were children. 

For more stories on Mid West Simon Community go HERE

For more information on Mid West Simon Community go HERE

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