What is Northwich Chess Club doing to revive chess in the area.
Three years ago Northwich were down to a core of 6 players and only one 500 team in WDCL. We nearly closed. We decided to try and build the club back. What actions did take to save the club?
- We contacted former players to see if they were interested in returning (some did).
- We invested in new Boards and clocks to smarten up our appearance.
- We made joining free to new members for a year.
- We advertised on the Northwich facebook page (free)
- We tried to set up web site with some success (more needs to be done)
- We took a stand at a local village fete
- As membership grew we set up three teams each with their own captain.
- We maintained a sociable atmosphere on club nights when we didn’t have a match
- During the pandemic we ran our Monday night chess club online.
- We collect £10 per member in subs and invest every pound back into club facilities, if we have no expenditure then we waive the subs.
The result is that we now have 14 members with several more promising to join when the pandemic is over. In the 2019/20 season we ran three teams. So, it can be done but does need effort from Club members.
What more do we have planned?
- We are not happy with our existing venue as we keep getting pushed around from one room to another, so we plan to move if we can find a suitable alternative. We have considered pubs, a scout hut, a rugby club, a cricket club and council facilities. All of these present their challenges. We want better facilities to play social chess and league matches. Some venues we have looked at want £50 per night. We haven’t got that. I suspect all clubs have this issue. Pubs want the footfall so I suspect that will be the answer, so long as we can get an area that is sufficiently quiet for matches.
- We plan to have our website re-built. It’s not just setting it up but also keeping it up to date.
- We have agreed to support The Grange Junior School with their Chess Club. It currently has 30 members.
- We have agreed to open a Junior Chess Club at Northwich Library on a Saturday morning. The library won’t charge us as we are using a public area and they want the footfall. I’m hopeful that we will grow attendance there and it will spill over to some parents joining our Monday night club.
- We will attach our club banner to the railings outside the library to advertise the Club.
- We will keep the online club under review as we have certainly attracted new members through this channel.
- We will work with Chess and Schools and Communities (CSC) to see if we can grow Junior Chess in Northwich