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Outdoor Chess Tables Have Been Installed In Two Reading Parks

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Outdoor chess tables have been installed at Prospect Park and Palmer Park, made possible with Levelling Up and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Funding.

Outdoor Chess Tables In Reading Parks

he two-seater concrete benches and tables feature a durable and sturdy chess boards which will further improve existing green space facilities at both parks, encouraging residents to come together to meet, learn and play.

This weekend members of Reading Chess Club – which celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2024 and whose members range in age from 10 to 80 – joined Lead Councillor for Leisure and Culture Adele Barnett-Ward, and local Councillors for an inaugural chess match. David Deane President and Match Team Captain of Reading Chess Club said “What a fantastic initiative by the Council! We have for a long time wanted to play informal games outside as happens in many other countries. Reading Chess Club will in the summer organise events at the Chess Tables and at the Club to celebrate the new tables and 125 years of Chess in Reading – plans include a ‘Beat the Grandmaster’ event and ‘Winner stays on’ games”.

Players using the new chess tables can either bring along their own chess set or borrow a set for a small deposit.

Reading Borough Council is providing this the new leisure equipment to give residents even more reasons to visit the borough’s parks, and to encourage people of all abilities and ages to play chess and enjoy the mental health benefits of participating in a social game outdoors.

The chess tables at Prospect Park are located outside the Ranger Station. Both the Ranger Station and Hey Coffee café will have chess sets available to borrow.

The chess table at Palmer Park is located between the Bowling Club and the Tutu’s Ethiopian Table café. Chess sets can be borrowed from Tutu’s.

The chess boards will support school break-out sessions and chess club events, create new opportunities to strengthen relationships and build local social cohesion and address loneliness by providing opportunities for people to come together in a joint activity.

Adele Barnett-Ward, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Leisure and Culture said

“Playing chess develops problem solving, planning and critical thinking skills, as well as improving memory and focus.  Our three new outdoor chess tables are a brilliant way to increase the visibility and public presence of this classic game.”

“We have chosen to place the chess tables in Prospect Park and Palmer Park to build on their fantastic community hubs. The tables have the potential to do wonders in increasing social inclusion and reducing isolation within the surrounding communities by providing a free, accessible activity suitable for all ages, and encouraging more reasons for residents of all ages to visit the parks to play chess outdoors.”

“This is another aspect of our ongoing investment into Reading’s parks and open spaces, creating enjoyable environments to support residents’ health and wellbeing.”

Related Reading Parks News

New Palmer Park Leisure Centre To Be Opened By Paralympic swimmer, Graham Edmunds

New Prospect Park Cafe Opens its Doors