Passionate chess player’s winning spirit earns a chance to compete at the Commonwealth Games
13 year old, Keola Jonker, has being playing provincial chess since she was 7 years old.
Keola qualified to participate for 2 years in a row at the prestigious *South African Junior Closed Chess Championship* (SAJCCC) where they select the national team to represent SA in International Events. Her mother being a single mom, and unable to afford appropriate coaching, Keola had to face the tournaments alone. Despite her ambitious determination, Keola finished 11th at the 2015 SAJCCC and 21st in 2016 SAJCCC.
This year, at the 2017 SAJCCC, her supportive Mother and headstrong believer in fighting for your dreams, managed to afford to have Keola's coach at the tournament, with a little help from her friends. Having a coach by her side not only proved the worth of such a necessary part of Keola’s journey, but proved too that Keola has what it takes!
After a gruelling 11 rounds over a nail biting 7 day tournament, Keola's confidence grew and she ended 7th place, and that won her the admiration of her team mates and the recognition she deserved. To add metal to her success, Keola achieved a remarkable personal milestone signalling how far she has come, beating the highest seeded competitor in her age group.
Through absolute hard work and determination, she finally qualified and was invited to represent SA at the 2017 Commonwealth Chess Games in India - a dream of hers since she started playing provincial chess.
Back home, she recently played her first tournament since the SAJCCC and entered the 2nd highest section, the B-section and she clinched 2nd place! Keola is on Fire!
In order for her to accept the challenge to play at the Commonwealth Games, Keola needs to raise enough money to cover the tournament entrancy fee, travel with the team to India, stay in the accredited accommodation, pay for remote coaching via skype, and cover living costs for her and her Mother while abroad during the tournament.
Help Keola realise her dream and write a historical chapter in her story by helping her represent her Country at this renowned international event!