Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Club ups and downs

I've commented on the past about the ups and downs of club membership levels in Canberra, observing that at most times 2 clubs seems to do well, while the other 2 struggle. In country Australia it is a different story as most communities would only support 1 club, if they have a club at all.
Again the factors that affect the overall participation levels in the nationwide chess community (chess culture, publicity, having other things to do etc) occur at the street level in the country, often to the detriment of numbers. A number of country towns have had thriving chess clubs for a few years (if not decades) only to see them slip away. I remember Orange having a club in the 80's, and a regular weekend event, but it eventually disappeared, although two country towns in that general area, Blayney and (much further away) Dubbo, now do have clubs, where before they did not.
One town running into trouble on the club scene is Mackay in Queensland. ABC regional has even done a report on the troubles facing the Mackay Chess Club, and you can see the report here.


Phil Bourke said...

Don't forget Bathurst, they have had a club that has been running continuously since the 1950's (IIRC).

Phil Bourke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaun Press said...

I must confess that I left Bathurst out as it is completely off my radar. I can't recall them holding any weekend events, and when I was ACF ratings officer in the late 80's/early 90's I don't recall receiving any tournaments from them for rating.
But it is good to know that there are a few more clubs than I am currently aware of :)

Phil Bourke said...

Again relying on a patchy memory, but I recall some tidbits about them holding the NSW Country Championships in 1969. The club was founded as a result of immigrants settling here after WW2 via the camp on Limekilns Road, just out of town. Never been able to confirm it, but apparently one of these was a Polish 'master' of the game who was spoken of with great admiration by elder members of the club though no-one was able to recall his name.