Mist escaped from John’s mouth in small puffs as the boot of his car sprung open. He removed a box containing three beaten up old Go sets and glanced around to get his bearings.
Over in the square, which was already bustling with early morning shoppers, John spotted Chris. It looked like he’d just finished taping posters to a folding card table.
The crisp morning air didn’t bother John at all, as he waved and hurried over, and the warm sun on the back of his neck held all the promise of a beautiful day.
About an hour’s drive away, in a neighboring city, Kate already had her first ‘customers’. They were a young family with two kids. “This is called atari,” she said as they listened with interest. “It means you’re about to be captured.”
Meanwhile, things were already in full swing on the other side of the country. “And I’m told there are more than 300 events like this all over the country today, and even more around the world,” the local reporter shouted into her microphone, against a murmur of nearby voices.
“Maybe it’s time we all got going,” came the studio anchor’s retort. He grinned from ear to ear at the wit of his own joke, blissfully unaware of just how predictable it was.
To the viewers at home, it didn’t matter. It was the first time they’d heard it…
Become a part of the story
What you’ve just read is, of course, a story. But it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, thousands of Go players around the world promote Go in their local communities. For those of us who really love this game, teaching it to others isn’t really a choice. It’s a way of life.
Perhaps parts of the story feel familiar to you? Or perhaps the whole notion of teaching Go in public is new, but sounds compelling.
Either way, it’s time to be part of something bigger!
Introducing Learn Go Week
On Saturday, September 13, 2014, we’re going to go out into our local community and run a small Go teaching event.
And we hope that you’ll join us – by organizing your own modest, local Go demonstration.
If you already do this from time to time then you don’t have to do anything new. All we’re asking is that run your own demonstration on the same day as everyone else.
September 13 will be the start of a new event called Learn Go Week.
We can achieve great things together
Every Go player knows that stones work better when they work together. So let’s apply that principle to life.
Right now we’re all doing our own things, within our own communities. We’re spread out thinly, all over the world. But if we work together, we can all be part of something bigger.
We can create an Event.
An Event is something that gets people’s attention.
Imagine thousands of people around the world all doing something on the same day. Doesn’t that sound intriguing? Isn’t that something that would get your attention? Now what if that thing was Go?
Not only would it be cool to see Go on the news, but being a part of a global event will be great fun.
So much fun, that you’re already on board with the idea, right?
Why Learn Go Week…
…and not World Go Day?
We wanted to give you a little bit of freedom, so that you can still get involved even if September 13 doesn’t work for you. Or, so that you can run multiple events throughout the week if you want to.
Run a beginners’ night too!
In particular, if you have a local Go club, we hope that you’ll also organize a beginners’ night in the week that follows (September 13 to 20).
This is something that you can tell people about at the Go demonstration on the Saturday. You can hand out brochures with the rules of Go and details about your club (we’ll help you with this and will provide templates which you can modify shortly).
One of the challenges local Go clubs face is that new players rarely turn up on the same day. Beginners are often discouraged when the only players at the club are relatively experienced, and that’s not surprising when you think about it.
However, if you can get a group of beginners to start learning together at the same time, the likelihood that they’ll keep playing and visiting the club is much higher.
Saturday, September 13 is the most important date of Learn Go Week, and we hope that you’ll join us on that day, but you can also get involved throughout the week that follows.
How you can help
There are many ways that you can get involved in Learn Go Week and help to make it a success for all of us. Here are some ideas:
- Organize a local event or join an existing event and help out
- Tell your friends and your local Go club about Learn Go Week
- Contact your local Go association and encourage them to get involved
- Let us know about your event(s), so we can help you with publicity
- Translate this article into your own language and share it (let us know if you do)
- Translate the other promotional materials which are coming soon
- Share this article with friends and other Go players you know.
How Go Game Guru will help you
We’ve wanted to organize something like this for years, but we waited until now so that we’d have the resources to help make it more successful. Here’s what we’re going to do to help:
- Coordinate local event organizers and help you to stay motivated
- Maintain a public list of all Learn Go Week events, with contact details, maps etc for each group
- Send out media releases and handle (English language) questions from journalists and other interested parties
- Support your local efforts with (editable) Go brochures, posters, checklists and information for running an event, etc
- Work with other Go organizations (e.g. national Go Associations and the IGF) to make this event as big as possible
- Logistical support, cheap Go sets, money saving tips and printable Go boards for organizers who need some affordable Go equipment
- Promote Learn Go Week as it happens – send us photos and videos of your event and we’ll share them with the community
- Afterwards, we plan to combine all your photos and videos from around the world into a promotional video for Go.
More to come soon
There will be plenty of things to discuss in the coming weeks, before September. We’ll be hard at work updating Go Game Guru with resources to help you and you can visit the main Learn Go Week page to make sure you get updates.
If you have questions, ideas or anything else you want to share, please leave a comment below. You can also email us at [email protected] or use our contact form if you prefer to keep your message private.
For those of you who are wondering about the date, we researched it thoroughly. There’s no perfect date, because there are things happening around the world on every weekend, but September 13 avoids most other major events and is at a time when the weather is mild in both hemispheres. And remember that this is Learn Go Week.
You might be wondering whether any of this is going to work? My only response is that the success of an event like this depends on the community.
It will work if all of us get involved.
If YOU get involved.
So join us, and let’s turn our story into reality together.