The Chess Academy and Mentoring Center began in the slums of Kampala, Uganda when SOM soccer coach, Robert Katende, noticed children watching from the sidelines of soccer matches he had organized. Robert started with only five children and now has over 2,000 who gather daily.

Robert found that chess was much like their everyday life, it teaches them how to strategize, plan ahead, instill discipline in their lives, patience, and watching from all angles. Now the chess program has spread to Gulu, Nairobi, El Salvador, and the US, including programs for handicapped students in Kampala and Nairobi.

Sports Outreach Global Chess Programs

Help sponsor ongoing SOM Chess Programs

Make a monthly commitment of $10, $20 or $30 to sponsor children in our ongoing Chess Ministry.

Make a one-time donation of any amount to The SOM Chess Academy.

$500 Allows us to host a chess tournament at one of our locations.


If you would like to go and see first-hand how the Sports Outreach Chess Ministry began, please fill out the form below. We hope you will be able to join us soon!!

Chess Trip Interest Form

Sports Outreach sends mission teams throughout the year to all of our six ministry sites. There are several opportunities for you to jump on one and see firsthand the international chess ministry. Fill out the contact form below to get started.

The Queen of Katwe

Phiona Mutesi and Robert Katende

From living in the streets in the slums of Katwe to learning chess in a Sports Outreach Institute missionary program to becoming one of her nation’s top chess players competing in international competitions, Phiona Mutesi has come a long way from the 9-year old girl who came for a cup of porridge. The subject of dozens of media stories and a book, “The Queen of Katwe,” which has now been made into a Disney movie. Phiona is an inspiration to millions, and especially to girls in a nation where girls are particularly marginalized.

Despite all of Phiona’s recognition and “success” as many call it, she has always kept her focus on God, family, and friends. Phiona has said many times, she recognizes how blessed her life has become because of chess and how she wants to open the doors of opportunity for other girls and women.

It is amazing to see how Phiona has so quickly progressed from student to teacher and child to mentor; she is a true example of hope in Uganda.

Check out the Disney Queen of Katwe Trailer Below

This story along with countless others like it are only possible because of thousands of individuals who take part in a spirit-led movement with the goal of Restoring Hope and Transforming Lives.

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