A former junior chess champion who played for South Africa, Laetitia is passionate about using chess to help improve children’s mental performance and grow their confidence.
As a teacher I make it my priority to create a comfortable learning environment where children feel both challenged and like they’re having fun. From my experience teaching children in both New Zealand and South America, a fun and challenging environment is where children engage and learn the most.
I’m passionate about chess, I’m an enthusiastic, confident communicator, and will keep trying different teaching approaches until the lesson truly sinks in for your child.
Chess is a game that carries with it a lot of inherent life lessons. How you play chess truly does say a lot about how you live life – I have personally learnt a lot about myself through chess. It is also a really fantastic, fun way to get to know someone else.
I started playing chess in a similar school chess programme to Chess Power around the age of six. Within years I graduated to getting private coaching and playing in regional, national and international tournaments.
I love seeing the ‘aha’ moment on children’s faces, which at that age is quite often! Children are much more open to learning new things and experimenting.
Before immigrating to New Zealand, I played internationally for the South African girls under 10s division. I took a small break in my teens, but I nowadays still play quite often, most recently regularly winning against businessmen and street vendors alike in the main plaza of Chile’s capital city Santiago while I was living there.
Besides the proven benefits chess has on the brain – including improving a child’s concentration, their logical reasoning and creative thinking – chess is also a safe space for children to learn to how to make decisions and to learn about the consequences of their actions. It also teaches them the important skill of adapting their approach to a problem under changing circumstances.