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ursogr8
07-02-2004, 09:34 PM
How to increase chess participation.


On another thread, Ascaro (bobby 1972 and 1992) asked how to grow the membership of a chess club. I offered to provide some resource material. It was suggested he read the post on establishing 'recognise and reward 'as the culture within the club; and I hope he has done so. Ascaro?

Now, here is a second resource; this time aimed at increasing junior participation. The report pasted in below is from one of the mums who recently visited the Aus. Junior in Perth. The report is compendium of ideas. The mum says she will give me the names for attribution later this week. In the mean-time, here are some thoughts on how to increase participation.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++
Report for the Whitehorse Junior Chess Club – January 2004
How to Increase Numbers on Sunday Afternoon Chess
Prepared by Kerry Lyall

Aim

To increase numbers of regular chess players at the Whitehorse Junior Chess Club between 40 – 80 players for Sunday Afternoon Chess.

Method

I spoke to a number of parents/organisers at the Australian Junior Chess Championships in Perth about how other states recruit and retain junior chess players. In particular, information from WA, ACT, NSW and SA was obtained.

Recruitment - Advertising

· Yellow Pages

As a sport, the club is entitled to a free advertisement in the Yellow Pages. For about $150.00 the club could get a reasonable advertisement. I spoke to xxxxx’s Dad who works in the Yellow Pages about an advertisement. He is very happy to help advise the club on appropriate advertisement for the price the club wishes to pay (or a free ad if the club does not wish to pay.) Action needs to be taken quite soon – as the Yellow Pages are already preparing next year’s Yellow Pages.

· Flyers to Schools

Flyers should be sent to local state government, Catholic and private schools.

In Canberra, flyers can be sent out free to all local schools, so the Chess Club don’t need a mailing list. They just give a bulk amount of flyers to a central repository. I will see if the Education Dept. can do this free, and whether the Catholic and Private Schools have a similar set – up. This would save on postage.

· Flyers at the Victorian Junior Chess Championships

This is a great opportunity to let children from all over Victoria know the dates for all games after the tournament.

· Flyers at the Inter School Chess Championships

Although these tend to be at the end of the year, this is still worthwhile. Perhaps the club could consider having a flyer with 2005 dates.

· Advertisements in local newspapers

As a sport, apparently, the club is entitled to free advertisements of match dates in the local newspapers.

· Community Groups on line

Apparently, it is possible to get a listing for the Whitehorse Chess Club under Community Groups.

· Special campaign to attract girls to play chess

ACT has a special campaign to get girls interested in chess. They run special girls only tournaments; have special coaching days for girls by girls who play chess. This is a tremendous idea. I have n’t got time to organise or run this – however, I have a friend who plays chess, has a daughter interested in playing chess, and is an excellent organiser. If the club wishes, I could approach her to see if she is interested in being involved in a special girl’s campaign.

One suggestion from a former Melbournian was if Whitehorse Chess had a special campaign to attract more girls to play chess, a speaker could address such organizations as: Women’s View Club, Rotary, Lion’s Clubs, Masonic Lodges and then request a donation to the club.

· Bring a friend for free the first time you play

ACT believes this is the only way to get girls to come. Girls won’t come by themselves; they need support of a friend. If enough girls turned up to a Sunday Afternoon, ACT suggest you run the girls quite separate from the boys – even in another area. Apparently, boys are too noisy, aggressive and girls feel intimidated and won’t come again. Only when they become confident, it could be suggested that they play in mixed chess games. However, the club would need enough girls to make this viable.

Retention

· Note the two above points.

· Obtain sponsorship from the following organisations and others

· MacDonalds
· Hungry Jacks
· Pizza Hut
· Wendys
· Blockbuster Video
· Hoyts
· Zoo
· Science Museum/Museum
· Myer, Target, K Mart, Coles and DJ – request for samples from the buying departments
· Local members of Parliament
· State Government (Education Department, Office of Women’s Affairs, Department of Sport and Recreation)
· Local Council (although I know that the City of Whitehorse already help sponsor one of the chess days)

Vouchers and samples could be either given out via a raffle system or as encouragement awards. This is very popular with young players – even if they don’t win a game – they still go away with a positive feeling about chess and will want to try again.

· Ribbons

ACT gives out ribbons to all junior players, which are extremely popular. (This might be appropriate for all players who don’t get a trophy.) They have a supply of different colored ribbons.

· Drink bottles

The suggestion was that drink bottles with Whitehorse Chess clearly marked, with the web site address be sold at cost price (apparently about $2.00)

There was a suggestion that drink bottles are cheaper than encouragement trophies and possibly a better marketing tool/ or could be used when encouragement trophies were not available.

· Tee Shirts

The Head of the ACF suggested that Tee Shirts are a great marketing device – and make children proud of playing chess. (He would like to make chess more "cool" so that good players are retained and not made to feel like "geeks".) He suggested that the club down load a digital picture from the web and sell the tee shirts with the Whitehorse Chess name and web address on it. He was actually wearing the tee shirt from last year’s tournament – it looked terrific! He said that the cost was about $10.00 per tee shirt.

Colors – The Club should carefully consider the color of tee shirts: girls won’t wear blue apparently. The Adelaide tee shirt was on a white background, the Perth Junior Chess tee shirt was black – and cost $20.00. (I’ll try and get xxxxx to wear it on Friday night.)

My only concern would be copyright. The club would have to be certain that it was not going to get sued for using someone else’ intellectual property without permission. (Geoff Saw is studying law – perhaps he could advise on this if the club goes ahead with tee – shirts.)

· Polo Shirts

ACT have gone done a different track to WA and SA. They offer a blue shirt (not girl – friendly) for which the children pay $20.00. It has the ACT Chess Club in gold writing on the collar of the shirt. However, the club then pays for special writing on the shirt. Eg: all children from ACT who attended the Junior Chess Tournament in Perth will have it listed on their shirt in gold writing. This costs about $10.00 per item – and could potentially be expensive.

The ACT children wore their shirts every day. They were enormously proud of their shirts (and of course made it intimidating for their non – ACT opponents.)

· Links with the Press

This was seen as very important in raising the profile of chess – and of the clubs.

The suggestion was to forge a relationship with the local newspaper – who are always looking for news items. This includes – providing the results of chess matches in local newspapers, writing articles as to why chess is good for children, providing photo opportunities of very young children playing chess. I was told that small girls ("cute") playing chess is wonderful in getting new players.

WA go further than this. They actually prepare a weekly article for the West Australian that includes the results of games, a chess problem and assorted chess news including when and where tournaments are being held.

· Free Coaching

Some children might want to play chess but don’t know how. If the club started to get more children playing – it could use some of the money to pay for chess coaching prior to the games. It was even suggested that if the club approached some of the older players – that they might even do it for free.

· Demonstration games

Apparently the club could buy some larger chess pieces that could be used in demonstration games – eg at local shopping centres. This is supposed to be a good way of advertising the merits of the game/club.

· Parent helpers

The above looks quite daunting. It might be a good idea to have a flyer/form for interested parents to offer their telephone/email address at the desk where people pay to attend, requesting assistance from interested parents. This could also go on the web page. In particular, if the club is hosting the Victorian Junior Chess Championships, parent helpers could be very useful.

For example: could you spare 10 minutes a month to put a flyer at your school and local library? Are you interested in promoting chess for girls? Could you spare 15 minutes a month? Most parents are very busy – but some might be quite happy to give a little time and many hands make light work. They might have different ideas for recruitment or retention of junior chess players.

Summary

There are many ways to attract and retain more junior chess players to play with the Whitehorse Chess Club.

In addition, I repeat my offer of assistance if the Whitehorse Chess Club does host the Victorian Junior Chess Championships.

Kerry Lyall (xxxxxxxxxxxx’s mum)

jenni
08-02-2004, 06:40 PM
How to increase chess participation.


Eg: all children from ACT who attended the Junior Chess Tournament in Perth will have it listed on their shirt in gold writing. This costs about $10.00 per item – and could potentially be expensive.



Not quite correct - $10 a frame. A frame is a square of about 10 cm - can fit about 9 items in it. So we do the embroidery twice a year and all achievements are put on at that time. e.g if a child only has one achievent it will cost $10, but if they have say gone to Perth, been selected for the ACT Dev Squad, won the Autumn Junior Reserves, won the Primary Allegro and been in the team that won the ANU Primary Schools, all these achievents will be done at the same time and still only cost $10. I am not sure what the embroidery is costing us per annum, but it would be around $500 and worth every cent in the pride and team spirit it creates.

jenni
08-02-2004, 06:47 PM
How to increase chess participation.



· Bring a friend for free the first time you play

ACT believes this is the only way to get girls to come. Girls won’t come by themselves; they need support of a friend.



Hmm - I think a tiny misunderstanding of what we said. This is a tool we use to increase participation, but we still get plenty of girls who come on their own. We do feel girls are more likely to stay involved in chess if they have friends, as they are a just more sociable and this side is important to them.

We feel that our strategies are working, as apart from winning the Aus Girls primary schools championships, the ACT also took 2nd girls under 12, 1st girls under 10 and 2nd girls under 10 in Perth. We do still have a major problem with our High School girls.

firegoat7
08-02-2004, 06:56 PM
To whom it may concern,

Jenni wrote:
We do feel girls are more likely to stay involved in chess if they have friends, as they are a just more sociable and this side is important to them.

This is nothing but sexist stereotyping and ought to avoided. After all I thought all people needed friends and are you seriously infering that boys are anti-social?

regards FG7

Rincewind
08-02-2004, 09:00 PM
This is nothing but sexist stereotyping and ought to avoided. After all I thought all people needed friends and are you seriously infering that boys are anti-social?

It is sexist stereotyping to say firegoat is a boy, therefore firegoat is anti-social. That it you are applying a generalisation to an individual. To make generalisations about groups is a different matter altogether.

BTW I don't think Jenni was saying boys are anti-social. Just the reason they engage is chess is not (in general) as a social outlet. I think girls are more motivated by the social aspect, boys are more motivated by the competitive side.

There is no value judgement there. Neither is "better" than the other. Just different ways young people have of enjoying organised chess.

jenni
08-02-2004, 09:04 PM
To whom it may concern,

Jenni wrote:

This is nothing but sexist stereotyping and ought to avoided. After all I thought all people needed friends and are you seriously infering that boys are anti-social?

regards FG7

Well of course this is the sort of ignorant comment I would expect. No wonder MCC has so many women playing there....

After many years of working with girls in chess we have analysed what is needed.

There are some girls to whom these comments don't apply - for many of them they do.

Go into a typical junior environment and take notice of how the young boys socialise and then look at how the girls socialise. I have never seen under 12 boys strolling under the trees and chatting for the entire time between rounds. Kicking a ball or bashing a clock in a lightning game is much more fun. Some girls enjoy this too - our girl who won the girls under 10, plays football and is more at home with the boys than the girls. We like to try to provide an environment that suits all our children and then leave them free to do what they like.

A girl can choose to go straight into the mixed environment if that is what she wants to do. Our girls only environment is regarded as a beginner environment only - any girl with interest and talent is encouraged to move into a mixed environment as quickly as possible.

I repeat - our strategies are working - we have a population of 300,000 and we had 300 girls play in the Primary schools comp - how many did Victoria have with a population 10 (12? 15?) times ours.

Our girl who came second in the under 10 (ahead of Sally Yu, Chloe Lauder and Shu-yu), is a total product of the girls only beginner environment (and has never had any private coaching, only Dev squad coaching and group coaching). Of course for the last year she has been totally happy to move from the sheltered environment into playing against the boys, as well as at an adult club and also played at the Vikings weekender.

We may be wrong - I wouldn't be arrogant enough to suggest that our way is the only way. However until such time as other states can show a girls development strategy that is more successful than ours, I think we will continue with what we have.

ursogr8
08-02-2004, 09:46 PM
Hmm - I think a tiny misunderstanding of what we said. This is a tool we use to increase participation, but we still get plenty of girls who come on their own. We do feel girls are more likely to stay involved in chess if they have friends, as they are a just more sociable and this side is important to them.

We feel that our strategies are working, as apart from winning the Aus Girls primary schools championships, the ACT also took 2nd girls under 12, 1st girls under 10 and 2nd girls under 10 in Perth. We do still have a major problem with our High School girls.

hi jenni

Any corrections needed to the first post are good to note; it was after all a compendium of the generous advice that was given to our first-tournament mum.
I thought the whole collection was just terrific and it would have been a crime not to share with others.
You have got success on your side so thanks for sharing your thoughts. :) :)

starter

jenni
08-02-2004, 09:52 PM
hi jenni

Any corrections needed to the first post are good to note; it was after all a compendium of the generous advice that was given to our first-tournament mum.
I thought the whole collection was just terrific and it would have been a crime not to share with others.
You have got success on your side so thanks for sharing your thoughts. :) :)

starter

I thought Kerry was fantastic and so enthusiastic and we wish her (and you) every success.

WBA
08-02-2004, 10:04 PM
Well of course this is the sort of ignorant comment I would expect. No wonder MCC has so many women playing there....

Hang on just a second there Jenni. Let us get a few things straight for a minute

a) Have you been to MCC, and if so when was the last time?
b) As made clear FG7 is expressing his views, and NOT those of the MCC

I never recall in my discussions with any of the committee members, nor in any meeting I have been present that the issue of sexes has come up, except in regards to facilities. Personally I think this was a good post by starter, and your comments added to that. Now I also only represent myself, but am a member of the MCC, so as you can see there are vairiances of opinion, please if you disagree with FG7 by all means have your debate with him, but I am not sure there is a need to take a cheap swipe at the MCC in the process.

Now for the record I think the condition of the place before the renovations may well have been the key reason why most of our female members left the club. As the club gains in strength hopefully so will the women population at the Chess Club. I also hope the current committee take some of this post into account, as I think there is a lot to offer, you do not need to agree with every part of a post to gain something from it.

Cat
08-02-2004, 10:19 PM
Now for the record I think the condition of the place before the renovations may well have been the key reason why most of our female members left the club. As the club gains in strength hopefully so will the women population at the Chess Club.

Why don't you ask them?

I think what Jenni has been saying is that 'hope' may not be enough, one sometimes might need to be pro-active.

jenni
08-02-2004, 10:20 PM
Hang on just a second there Jenni. Let us get a few things straight for a minute

a) Have you been to MCC, and if so when was the last time?
b) As made clear FG7 is expressing his views, and NOT those of the MCC

I never recall in my discussions with any of the committee members, nor in any meeting I have been present that the issue of sexes has come up, except in regards to facilities. Personally I think this was a good post by starter, and your comments added to that. Now I also only represent myself, but am a member of the MCC, so as you can see there are vairiances of opinion, please if you disagree with FG7 by all means have your debate with him, but I am not sure there is a need to take a cheap swipe at the MCC in the process.

Now for the record I think the condition of the place before the renovations may well have been the key reason why most of our female members left the club. As the club gains in strength hopefully so will the women population at the Chess Club. I also hope the current committee take some of this post into account, as I think there is a lot to offer, you do not need to agree with every part of a post to gain something from it.

Ok I admit it - I was using MCC to be mean to Firegoat. It was too good to resist.

I have heard gossip over the years that MCC was a bit of a hostile environment for females, but it was just third hand comments.

WBA
08-02-2004, 10:37 PM
Why don't you ask them?

I think what Jenni has been saying is that 'hope' may not be enough, one sometimes might need to be pro-active.

Hi DR

Actually a few of them I have, I have also had conversations with friends partners, and taken some friends in there myself, Overwhelmingly the condition of the building did stick out, now I realise more than a hope and a prayer is need to attract any player, including women, and I thought I made it reasonably clear, that I believe the MCC should read this thread, and extract useful information. As stated before, the MCC has gone through some very rough times previously, and no doubt probably will again. The cloub has always been able to recover from these times, and I believe this will be no exception. The MCC has addressed some problem areas, and I would like to stress they will address more this year, and hopefully continue to grow from strength to strength. Although I clearly do not agree with a number of decisions the club makes, I do back them as a whole. At the moment they are the perfect committee for the current situation, and as new challenges appear, others will step forward to carry the club to the next step.

Give MCC a bit of a chance, they are on the way back, and just as we have happily supported the Chess Community through encouraging players to attend other clubs, so we expect people to either check the place out and make an informed opinion, or just advise people they are unaware of the what the place is like.

Regards

WBA

PS Jenni

If you are ever coming to Melbourne for a tournament let us know, and I will be more than happy to show you around the place. I am pretty sure something can be organised (if you come down with a squad), where the kids can come over to the MCC to visit the club and play for the day. You may find it is nowhere near as hostile as the rumours sometimes suggest.

firegoat7
08-02-2004, 10:47 PM
Dear Jenni,

If you actually had a look at what I wrote you would notice that I said "sexist stereotyping". Now I have no problem with anything you organise or the way you run things. I was merely pointing out a social fact to you which you ought to retract.

Firstly, all chessplayers ought to have friends not just girls or boys. I presume we agree on that point.

Secondly, Are you seriously suggesting that girls are more social then boys? I am suggesting that this statement is false and amounts to sexism. Think about the arguement for a minute.

If I was to suggest that men were more intelligent, or that women are irrational or that women are natural carers compared to men then I also would be propagating these type of social myths.

The simple facts are that women and men are equal in intelligence, both men and women can be irrational aswell as rational, women and men are both capable of the same type of nurturing and caring.

So when you say girls are more social then boys. I say "Bah Humbug" these comments just reinforce cultural myths.

regards FG7

P.S I thought W.Smith inspired you at chess, she is a MCC member!

arosar
09-02-2004, 09:08 AM
Hilarious!! The thread barely got started and already it's off into sexism....Typical!

AR

jenni
09-02-2004, 09:49 AM
Dear Jenni,

If you actually had a look at what I wrote you would notice that I said "sexist stereotyping". Now I have no problem with anything you organise or the way you run things. I was merely pointing out a social fact to you which you ought to retract.

Firstly, all chessplayers ought to have friends not just girls or boys. I presume we agree on that point.

Secondly, Are you seriously suggesting that girls are more social then boys? I am suggesting that this statement is false and amounts to sexism. Think about the arguement for a minute.

If I was to suggest that men were more intelligent, or that women are irrational or that women are natural carers compared to men then I also would be propagating these type of social myths.

The simple facts are that women and men are equal in intelligence, both men and women can be irrational aswell as rational, women and men are both capable of the same type of nurturing and caring.

So when you say girls are more social then boys. I say "Bah Humbug" these comments just reinforce cultural myths.

regards FG7

P.S I thought W.Smith inspired you at chess, she is a MCC member!

I subscribe to the "women are superior but different to men" school of thought.....

And yes I am vey much aware that Wendy is a member of MCC.

jenni
09-02-2004, 09:52 AM
If you are ever coming to Melbourne for a tournament let us know, and I will be more than happy to show you around the place. I am pretty sure something can be organised (if you come down with a squad), where the kids can come over to the MCC to visit the club and play for the day. You may find it is nowhere near as hostile as the rumours sometimes suggest.

I hope I might take you up on the offer sometime.

Sorry again for using MCC - didn't mean to be nasty to the club, just to Firegoat! :D

HappyFriend
10-04-2005, 04:42 PM
I thought it was obvious. The way to increase chess participation is to somehow remove the committee members of the Melbourne Chess Club with chess as a whole.

WhiteElephant
10-04-2005, 06:33 PM
We do feel girls are more likely to stay involved in chess if they have friends, as they are a just more sociable and this side is important to them.

I think this statement has 2 completely separate parts:

1) We do feel girls are more likely to stay involved in chess if they have friends.

Completely agree! I run various school-based chess clubs - some with boys only, some with girls only and some with a mixture of boys and girls.

I have made the following observations about those clubs:

- Girls prefer to attend a club which aready contains some other girls, particularly of their year level. It is VERY difficult to attract new girls to a club which is currently boys only. The best way to do this is to encourage a group of girls who are friends to attend together.

- Boys are happy to participate in a club which contain boys of widely ranging year levels (ie year 1's will often happily play against year 6's and vice versa). Girls prefer to have other girls as close as possible to their year levels. This is because they like to build social networks and come along to spend time with their friends, rather than just to play chess.

- Girls are much more likely to play in Girls Only Interschool comps. This works well to build up initial interest and the social side of playing in a tournament (as Jenni said earlier I think) until they gain more confidence to play mixed Interschool events.

- In summary, girls and boys have different REASONS for playing chess. And therefore, the marketing strategy needs to vary when promoting clubs to girls as opposed to boys. Clearly, the emphasis needs to be on the social aspect of chess, social activities, etc - the bring a friend idea is an excellent one!

2) as they [girls] are just more sociable...

I do not believe this is correct and it is probably what Firegoat was objecting to. Jenni, do you have any statistics which support this? My view is that some boys are more ourgoing/ sociable than others and some girls are more outgoing/ sociable than others, but it is difficult to make a general sweeping statement comparing the two.

W.E.

Libby
11-04-2005, 09:39 AM
I have been running a school club at Curtin Primary for 4-5 years.

I had always had far more boys than girls in the club although the ratio was pretty good when compared to other clubs (ie I had probably 1/3 girls).

Last year we were ACT Open & Girls Primary Champions and Champions & Runners-Up at the ANU Primary Schools event. Girls occupying 50% of places in our prizewinning Open teams.

In 2004 we won Aus Schools in the Girls Primary by a (sadly) comfortable margin. The same team has just won ACT Primary Girls with a score of 28/28 although we are being challenged by the second placegetters (19.5/28) for a playoff for the Aus Schools spot. :doh:

Anyway, to cut a long (bragging) story short - my "advanced" club which meets on Fridays at School ("beginners" on Thursdays) is now almost entirely made up of girls. We have only 3 boys (of about 20 children overall) persisting with the group.

I suspect it will be a long time (never) before there is equality in "beginner" participation between boys and girls - I think this is the single biggest stumbling block to girls achieving excellence in the game. However, whichever gender we are talking about, I think there is a critical "tipping" point at which the other begins to feel squeezed out. I have never pitched particularly at girls at the school club, I have never run girls-only activities or set up special pairings or made concessions to girls playing girls etc. I just ran a club at which girls began to excel, at which more girls began to attend and also develop a level of competence, and at which boys began exiting in droves.

In fact, this year I have been trying to run special activities to try to attract more boys back into the club (special activities on alternate weeks including other strategy games, Knightmare chess & transfer) but losing to the girls and losing their own social peers seems to be the single, insurmountable obstacle to their return.

For my Thursday beginners, I still have about 80% boys in a group of 20-30 children.

jenni
11-04-2005, 01:09 PM
2) as they [girls] are just more sociable...

I do not believe this is correct and it is probably what Firegoat was objecting to. Jenni, do you have any statistics which support this? My view is that some boys are more ourgoing/ sociable than others and some girls are more outgoing/ sociable than others, but it is difficult to make a general sweeping statement comparing the two.

W.E.

I am talking in a chess context and for young juniors. Also I guess it depends how you define "sociable" - I am looking at it from a feminine aspect and I doubbt that my definition would match yours. I haven't kept statistics - too busy being sociable to focus on all those numbers. However after years of running junior clubs and attending junior tournaments, I still stand by my remarks, although I am prepared to temper them and say girl socialise in a different way. Thus friendships and other girls attending are more important.

I suppose it depends on what you call socialise. Boys tend to sit together, scream a lot, bash the clock and play lots of lightning and transfer. I have no dount that they view that as being extremely outgoing and sociable. However do they really care who is part of the group? - possibly if a boy sucks at chess, his companions would prefer to have a more competent person in the 4 some for transfer, but apart from that I don't think they really care.

However girls do care - they sit together they exchange surnames (how many years does a boy need to know someone, before they find out even this basic detail!). They then move onto the more important stuff - over a weekend tournament, most girls will come back knowing a vast amount of personal detail about their new companions. It matters to them and they want to see those people again.

(Of course this can lead to problems with girls - anyone who has dealt with girls in year 5 to year 7 would know just how spiteful and catty it can get.)

You are thus more likely to keep girls playing if there are a group of them - as soon as a girl is finding herself turning up to comps without that social network, they will tend to drift off. Of course there are always exceptions on both sides - Libby's daughter for example is much closer to the boys in her "socialising'.

Men do socialise more as they get older - I can think of some very socialable young groups at the moment - the Smerdon/ Bourmistrov group in Melbourne and a group centred around Michael Lip in Sydney.

I was amused at the Zonal in New Zealand to see a very bubbly Gino Thornton trying desperately to socialise with some of the other guys - he gave up in disgust and joined the girls group .....

Libby
11-04-2005, 03:50 PM
2) as they [girls] are just more sociable...

I do not believe this is correct and it is probably what Firegoat was objecting to. Jenni, do you have any statistics which support this? My view is that some boys are more ourgoing/ sociable than others and some girls are more outgoing/ sociable than others, but it is difficult to make a general sweeping statement comparing the two.

W.E.

Jenni's quite right in suggesting my daughter is not the best example of the feminine social animal :rolleyes: In fact, having raised two older girls who disdain the whole girlie "scene" I used to think everybody else was just a wuss.

However, I had a third daughter and found maybe nature has the head start on nurture and I had less to do with the first two than I thought :eek:

As a general observation, and as someone currently taking bookings for our Girls' Development Day next week, parents of girls ring me in great trepidation - will their daughter know anyone, will they be about the same age, has their friend xxxx booked already?

Boys are booked in for our Open days with that comment rarely made.

Many girls (not all) are into special friendships and in that pre-teen (9-13 type) group there is a lot of pressure to belong and to fit in with a group.

Am I saying boys don't have the same experience? Not at all. But boys who don't fit in well at school are likely to find a group they fit in very well with at chess. In my observation. Initially, all they will need to know about that person is that they are able to play. (And do they want a blitz/transfer/take me game?)

Libby
22-04-2005, 05:02 PM
36 girls at our "Girls-Only" coaching day from 6-13 years of age.

http://www.atmcomputers.com.au/actjcl/2005_girls_devday.htm

11 coaches allowed girls to work in groups of 2-4 girls per coach & we charge $25/day.

We also had the opportunity to talk about our July School Holiday venture - Canberra Chess Chicks - (for which we received the Women's Sports Grant). We have explained to the girls that selection in the program will follow participation in other activities (ie we will be looking to put a check beside your name every time we see you and most checks = most likely to be invited).

Many girls talked to me about how much they want to be chosen. It may not be much in reality, but selection - at any level - is a great way to reward effort and increase the value people place on an opportunity.