YOUNG Fourways chess player, Kajol Naidoo (9) was awarded Sports Achiever of the Year as well as Sports Athlete of the Year at Johannesburg Women in Sport Awards.
The ceremony, which was held virtually, was hosted by the Johannesburg Sports Confederation in conjunction with the Joburg Metropolitan Council. The finalists for the various categories were selected after what is said to be a rigorous nomination process.
Kajol impressed judges with not only her chess achievements and love for the sport but also for her dedication. Coupled with this, Kajol still found the time and resource to give back to the City by upskilling and sharing her knowledge.
Her father, Gerard, explained she was nominated by Joburg Metro Chess as she is the 2019 U8 girls South African national champion and represented the country in India at the Commonwealth Chess Championship in June.
In the same year in August, she attended the World Chess Cadets Championship in China. “Kajol is also the U8 girls South African Schools individual chess champion (July 2019), and she won gold at the African Youth Chess Championship for U8 girls in Namibia in December 2019.”
The Radford House learner went on to be the only U10 girl player in the category Team A, at the South African Junior Chess Championship in January this year, where she won all her games and her board prize. Her team also broke a long-standing record to have the highest score across all rounds.
Back in February, Kajol won the Gauteng Primary School Female Athlete of the Year Award.
Despite intensive coaching and tournament routines, she finds downtime and relaxation in the outdoors and with her pets, swimming, biking, hiking, running, sketching, painting, playing with Lego and watching movies.
“I am so excited having won these prestigious awards and want to thank my parents, coach Craig Bornheim, and God. I can’t wait to move from Internet tournaments back to the board and to travel internationally and play and win again.”