AN 11-year-old Limerick child prodigy chess player, who is Ireland’s number one, can’t get sponsorship to help her represent Ireland in the World Youth championships in Brazil.
And one of the reasons is because chess is not seen as a sport.
Diana Mirza from Raheen who was born in Limerick to Romanian parents is a phenomenal talent and although only 11 is the best ranked woman to the age of 20 in Ireland.
Diana is a student at Limerick School Project, O’Connell Avenue, who have been very supportive of her endeavours to represent Ireland and helped fund her participation in the European Chess championships earlier this year in Mureck, Austria.
There she did extremely well to win a bronze medal in the under 14 category, against the best young female chess players in Europe.
Her dad, Gabriel who is secretary of the Irish Chess Union says that it will cost over €2,600 for flights alone to go to Brazil as the Chess Union can only look after the entry fee. The event is on in Caldas Novas, Goyania in the centre of Brazil and will involve a number of flights to get there.
Gabriel looked for funding in Limerick:“I went to the Limerick Sports Partnership, they said that chess is not a sport. They don t care,” he claimed.
“Is anybody here in Limerick thinking that we have the only player in Ireland competing at the World Championship?” asked Gabriel.
“Diana is the Irish Champion at U12 . All the players going to play to the World Cup gets some support from their communities,” said her proud dad.
Diana is a fifth class pupil and after her home work each evening she practices. “She is very dedicated and spends two hours every day practising her chess” said Gabriel.
“If anyone can help with sponsorship they can contact the school who are hoping to run a quiz night to help with the costs,” he added.Limerick School Project can be contact on 061 412994 for anyone wishing to help.