Dear ECF member
I am writing to you (in the capacity of the ECF Women’s Recruitment Officer) to encourage you in your efforts to involve more women and girls in your chess club, whether you are playing in a league, at school or university, or simply enjoying some sociable games in a library or café.
Sometimes we think it’s an uphill battle to recruit new members, female or male, but there are some not-too-difficult things we can do.
1) Make your chess club a welcoming place for everyone. Is it held in a place where all players would feel safe and comfortable? Having a pleasant, family-friendly venue, well served by public transport, can make a difference.
2) As part of your club’s activities, hold regular social chess gatherings in public places, such as a library or café, at convenient times and days of the week that are fully accessible to female and male players alike.
3) Advertise your chess club to the whole community, via notices in your local media, library, community centre, cafes, schools and universities, and through your club website and social media. ‘Chess for All’ notices can specifically say: ‘Our chess club is open to everyone – regardless of gender, age and ethnicity. No experience is necessary – we are happy to help you learn the game.’
How we can improve the gender balance in chess, and make our chess clubs more welcoming to women and girls, are key issues on the agenda at the upcoming London Chess Conference this weekend (30 November-1 December), which is being held at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith on the theme ‘Chess and Female Empowerment’.
Female members of the ECF are eligible for free entry to the conference. Simply send an email in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org with your ECF membership number (ME******).
Please do get in touch if I can assist you in recruiting more women and girls into your club and organisation – whether it’s helping you access the resources you need, speaking at your club or event, or simply offering confidential advice. If I do not have the complete answer to your query, I will help you find it.
Together, I am sure we can make a difference.
ECF Women’s Recruitment Officer