Obviously junior chess has been discussed here and elsewhere more times than anybody else can count and it is not my intention to initiate that discussion again. We generally have a good idea of what works, what doesn't work and what the blockers are. I'm more interested in what resources might be available and how these can be networked across the country.Discussion centred on the drop-off of juniors playing chess for which MP had
provided some management information.
It was agreed that experiences across the country were varied, but key to successful
recruitment and retention was an adequate number of volunteers. Clubs that run
successful junior sections have an earlier time for the juniors to meet, and a number
of committed volunteers. It was noted that a number of opportunities could be
explored, such as use of local libraries to run junior clubs. It was agreed that we
should consider running pilots, to help and support the growth and development of
The reintroduction of junior development officers was discussed. It was thought they
might be more successful if the role description was fully developed, and the right
person was fully supported. Time would be set aside at the next meeting to discuss
in more detail.
AP 113/13 MP to provide more detail on how the ECF might support clubs in
encouraging clubs to reach out to juniors more effectively and what the role of a
junior development officer might look like.
The minutes are a bit vague on whether the junior `drop off` refers to the decline in numbers between primary and secondary school or the fact that even strong teenagers don't continue playing into their twenties (possibly a bit of both). In any case it is chess at secondary school age that requires the attention and any investment or co-ordination that the ECF can provide would a) be an extremely worthwhile use of surplus, particularly when other budgeted costs are offset by sponsorship and b) make a far more important discussion point than the minutiae of game fee.