Chess is also educational. Studies have consistently shown that children who play chess regularly (i.e. one or more times in a week) do better in school. Indeed, chess is a curriculum subject in more than 60 countries around the world!
The primary benefits of club chess are the structured play and the new opposition that one meets there. Playing against a different opponent each week of similar strength will cause rapid improvement for all players concerned. It is a well-known chess fact that people improve fastest if the opposition is evenly matched, or slightly better (mismatches don't really help either player). Good coaching will help a lot as well (have a look at our grading pages to see what we offer there). A practical benefit of timed play (using a chess clock) is learning to manage time well under pressure, such as during exams and tests.
New Zealand also has a national schools championship, with Primary, Intermediate and Secondary competitions. Regional competitions are held throughout the country, with the winners for each region playing off to find North Island and South Island champions and the NZ champions. Having players who play at a club will greatly improve a school's chances at all levels.
If you'd like more information, or you'd like to discuss this further, please don't hesitate to contact Craig.