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UK Go Challenge

Description

The Uk Go Challenge for schools is a competition aimed both at getting existing school clubs involved in competition more and at promoting Go to schools where Go is not yet played. The Challenge was invented in 2004 by the BGA Youth Development Officer, Paul Smith, and based on the succeful UK Chess Challenge that has been running since 1996.

The format of the Challenge involves running a heat at each school, the best players from the heats taking part in national finals. On submitting their entry for 25 pounds (40 euro), the school receives a Tournament Pack. This contains everything they need to run their heat: Go rules and leaflet, tournament rules and guidance, draw cards and score sheet, prizes. Each heat is five games which can be held on five days or just one as suits. Players score a point for playing each game as well as an extra 2 points for winning. Scoring 8 points wins a player an additional prize (a furry Go stone bug) and scoring 11 points wins an additional prize (Go fridge magnet). The top player wins the overall prize, such as a baseball cap, FridgeGo set, Go fan or Hikaru book. Scoring 8 is enough to enter the finals, but the top player in each of several age groups qualify as well.

Schools that have not played Go before can apply for a Go Evaluation Pack. This costs 5 pounds (7.5 euro) and contains Go leaflets, a pricelist for equipement and a card starter board with flat plastic Go stones. They can also get access to one of the BGA’s volunteer teachers or a professional Go Teacher. Promotion of the challenge and the pack has been kindly done by the Chess Challenge, as the Go Challenge happens in the summer term after the Chess Challenge and so does not clash.
The finals are held in the middle of Engeland at the end of July. In 2005 the number of players at the finals more than doubled to 46. They competed in various age and gender categories for valuable prizes donated by LG Electronics. Most of the 20 heats sent players to the finals. In addition in the Autumn the first Geographic Go Gala was held in Cambridge, offering a day of teaching and competiton for schools in a region. In 2006 more than 500 school children were involved.
For further details see our website.

Objectives

Promote Go in schools, especially among schools already with game clubs (eg. Chess).

Realisation

New schools have evaluated Go, played in the Challenge and started Go Clubs. Over 500 Children have take part.

Resources

Human resources: Challenge Coordinator -develops packs & sends to entrants/enquirers, -and runs the Challenge. Local teachers have visited schools.
Financial resources: First Year cost 1500 euro to set up. Second year only cost was advertising as packs are self-financing & finals had a good sponsor.

Possibilities to copy this project

The Challenge can be copied by any country but most will not have advertising via a Chess Challenge so will have to find other ways of advertising.

Contributor

Tony Atkins
Organisation: British Go Association
E-mail address: info@ukgochallenge.com