When can you say you have found your passion? Some people go through life and find out that they’re really passionate for a certain hobby or activity late in their lives, but others, like Lady Woodpusher Cherry Mejia, find it pretty at earlier on.
Mejia’s love for the game of chess can be traced back to her childhood years. She started her journey with the sport at a young age and now she has reaped the rewards of her hard work by rising to become the captain of the women’s chess team.
She first started playing chess at the age of nine primarily because of the influence of her younger brother Gio, who is also competing for La Salle. According to Mejia, she fell in love with playing the game and since then, she considered chess to be her choice of sport. She then competed in various open chess tournaments, where she was able to hone her skills even more so by competing against other skilled chess players. Through practicing continuously and participating in various tournaments, she became more hardworking, determined, and disciplined, which even up to this day have been the keys to her success in chess.
Even throughout her high school life in Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manila, she continued to compete in various chess tournaments. Because of her skill and her success in the sport, she was offered the opportunity to study and compete for DLSU upon her transition to college. She accepted the offer and went on to play for the Lady Woodpushers in the UAAP. When asked why she chose La Salle, she says that studying there was her dream since high school.
“Chess became a way for me to have the opportunity to study in a prestigious university like DLSU,” she adds.
Throughout her years with the Lady Woodpushers, she has contributed to the success of the team by winning medals and amassing points to put them at the top of their division. Because of her efforts, La Salle was able to win the championship three times in the last four years, including their recent first-place finish this season.
Looking back at how far she has gone because of chess, she remains thankful for all that the sport has given her. When asked about the benefits she gained from competing in chess, she mentions traveling, the scholarship, and the acknowledgement as some of the most important fruits of her labor.
Even as her UAAP career heads towards its final chapter, she continues to play the game because of something that is worth more than any benefit she gets from playing chess.