Who can believe that we are at the end of 2022? After almost 3 years of uncertainty and stresses out of our control, we never thought that we would be sitting here in the middle of December feeling grateful and reminiscing about the past year. We have been busy and we have evolved. 2022 has been a year of regrowth with new franchisees getting on board, new in-school and sponsored programs launching, and let’s not forget our new offices in Monumentpark, Pretoria.
The year started with some unknown variables, seeing that certain lockdown regulations were still in place. No one knew how long we would still battle with school closures and how long we still had to wear masks! Man oh, man did we miss seeing people’s faces and smiles and not to mention how we only got to see each other online! Thankfully towards the end of this year, we were able to host our annual symposium, in-person, and online for those who could not make it, at our new offices. Our Queen in charge, Marisa van der Merwe made us proud with her perseverance and drive and even won Fundraiser of the year at the Woman of Stature Awards at the prestigious Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre in Fourways, Johannesburg. She was also awarded a certificate of recognition for her life-long contribution to chess and society as a whole by the honorable DM Makhura, Premier of Gauteng, at a gala event, at Emporers Palace, Kempton Park. Marisa keeps inspiring us, between signing up new franchisees and sponsors, and traveling throughout our beautiful country doing training and meeting with principals, teachers, and sponsors, while still running her various businesses. Thank you, Marisa, for everything you do.
As mentioned above, we had quite a couple of incredible new franchisees join our family. Chantell Booyse from the Weskus, who also won “Top Performing MiniChess Franchisee”, “Best Marketer”, and “Top Newcomer of the year” hit the ground running in her area with various projects and crowdfunding efforts, proving how hard work and determination can make all the difference. We are so proud to have her on our team! Another one of our new franchisees in KZN, Cyndi Marx, truly proved at the START SMART and Level 1 training as well as the Symposium that she has exactly what it takes to flourish with the MiniChess programs in her area! Watch this space as we are expecting massive things from her! During the last month or so of the year we also gained new franchisees in Pretoria East, Gernia and Natasha van Niekerk, who will be taking the MiniChess program to children on the Autism spectrum! We are very excited to see how our program changes these kids’ lives!
Engela du Toit and her husband, Gys du Toit from Pretoria South, also had a rocking year with their incredible in-school programs at various schools, especially Laerskool Elarduspark in Pretoria where they have close to a thousand learners doing the MiniChess program. Engela deservingly won “Top performing MiniChess franchisee for MiniChess Clubs” and “Sustained MiniChess Programs in 2022”. They have been such an inspiration this year! We are proud to have you as such a vital part of the family!
MIniChess has some new and exciting programs launching in the new year, and we cannot be more proud, as these programs will be a game changer for 21st-century learning! Our MiniChess and Coding program with “Rookie” the Smart Bot will teach young kids the basics of coding through our trusted and proven learning model, utilising all 7 learning styles in each lesson! We are also launching our online store in January 2023 which is something we have been working towards!
We are thankful to each and every person in our lives and without you, we would not be the award-winning program we are, proven to work and make a sustainable difference in children’s lives. Thank you for an incredible year!
We wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Be safe, and when we see each other again in 2023, let’s be reminded how each one of us plays a vital role in each other’s lives.