Lawrence Park Go School & Club

Kids lessons : Mondays 7-8:30, Thursdays 7-8:30.

Adult play/study: Mondays 8-11.

The adult play/study session functions much like any other adult Go club, but we do put an emphasis on all of trying to improve.  Beginners (even those who have yet to learn the rules) are welcomed!

Go demonstrations for local schools or activity groups

This club has a focus on promoting Go.  As part of that we're happy to visit and provide a Go overview/demo.  In the past we've gone to John Fisher, Victoria park Secondary, and local girl guide and scout/cub groups.

The usual structure is a 15 minute or so game overview + taste of history, then kids play against each other for the rest of one hour.

Of course we'd love it if the class intro inspired some children to come try out the beginner class, but even if none of them ever do we'll still be happy that more children are familiar with the game; at some point in time they may be inspired to try playing.

Children/youth lesson details

The class was originally 7-8 PM, but as we've added more older children and original students have aged extending the class until 8:30 has made sense.  For younger kids the lesson times can be adjusted if needed.   Kids are welcome and encouraged to come to both sessions, but in practice most of the kids have found one session fits better with their schedules.

The more novice adults may want to aim for a bit of overlap with the Monday night kids.  They typically do exercises for half the lesson, and then play in the second half.  They may be a good fit for adult novices 10K and weaker.

When can new kids start?

Any time! Each child works through their own exercise program.  The instructors help them as they need it, but there is no requirement for a group of children to start at the same time.

Youth/child Go class program fee

For the first few years the class was free, but with more children we've found some program fee is required to cover costs.  However we've continued to absorb the fee for new children either for their first year, or until a child has finished Review book 1 (the 5th book they work on during class).  Absorbing the fee for this initial period is part of our effort to promote the game.  Once fees are being paid it is 20$/month for the first child, additional siblings 10$.  To finish the 5 books can take a couple years but we have seen one child (attending consistently twice a week) finish in 5 months.  The current fee is for paying material costs; most of the instruction time continues to be provided on a volunteer basis.

Youth/child additional study outside of lesson time

First off, we don’t require any additional work from the children.  But of course as you’d expect they will benefit if they do other Go activities outside of class.  In an ideal world there would be daily/near daily practice like if a child were learning a musical instrument.  Generally I’d encourage more playing as the focus, rather than more exercises.  They can play online, or there are computer programs to play against, even on a mobile phone that are good enough for novices. If you need any help with online options please let me know (although for Chinese, Korean or Japanese families there are good choices in those languages where I’m not best placed to help).

Also, the program fee is deliberately chosen with a monthly fee, irrespective of how often the kids come.  We know most of the kids are busy, and often/mostly can only come once a week.  But when they can we want to encourage them to come an extra time. Often at the tail edges of a season some activity may end and they can get extra sessions in.

Go class instructors

Dongeun(Kate) Choi 1st dan professional:  Kate has been in North Toronto since spring 2016.  She regularly attends both the Monday & Thursday class.  Having her help has been critical to our ability to scale up the classes through 2016, and the extra bonus that she had an interest in early childhood education makes her an even better fit.

Jang(Rain) Bi 7th dan, past Korean insei:  As any ex-insei is (the insei system is for those training to be professional players), Rain is a very high level player.  Having another player of near professional class helping teach is wonderful for the kids, and Rain regularly attends both Monday & Thursday.

James Sedgwick 6th dan:  Class/club founder, host, and principal organizer.  His resume includes winning the 6 Dan section at the US Open twice, and two fourth place finishes at the Canadian open.  James has also completed the AGA teaching certification program.

Mark Wong 2nd dan:  Mark has worked steadily to improve the couple years, moving towards upper level amateur play.  And in addition to improving his play he has been an active Go organizer, including activities like publishing the Canadian Go Association news letter.  He attends regularly on Monday night, helping the children with any questions they have and reviewing their work.  He also took the AGA teacher certification program in the summer of 2016.

Youth volunteer instructors

Liam Hinzman 3rd dan:  Since starting to study actively around 2013, Liam has rocketed upwards.  He has trained intensively and continues to do so, but in addition he has been willing to step in and help other youths.  For one term he hosted a second night of activity for the Toronto Go Club, and he has regularly helped with the less advanced youth players during the Monday night session.

Yu Liu 1st dan:  Yu started from the same school as Liam, and has been following him upwards, so far just a step behind.  Yu continues to work on his own upward progress, but he is also generous with his time helping teach the less advanced youth players.  He attends the Monday night session, and during the play part of the class he can regularly be found playing teaching games with class members.

History

I (James Sedgwick) found after my children were born I didn't have time attend the club regularly.  So instead about 2006 I started hosting adult play & instruction.  Then as my own children reached the age to play I was interested in more formal structured lessons for the children.  There were not any obvious options for children's group lessons in our part of Toronto around 2010/2011, so I started my own childrens classes.  For the first several years we had perhaps 5 children, but in 2015/2016 the class started expanded rapidly. We then added a second night of instruction, and more volunteer teachers.  By February 2016 we reached 9 children and as of September 2016 there are 16 children age 6-14 studying with the class.

More Info

Contact

james_sedgwick2003@yahoo.com 416-486-8048

Address

281 Jedburgh Rd,
Toronto, Ontario
M5M 3K5

Members

James Sedgwick 5d
Ben Mantle 5d
Chris Fontein 9k
Liam Hinzman 2d
Byung Soo Lee 2d
Johnny Lau 15k
Tony Zhao 6d
Haven Renaud 10k
Gavin An 18k
Dinesh Ramdhayan 2k
Minsung Nicholas Suh 6d
Yu Liu 1k
Bryce Moore 20k
Liam Hinzman 3d
Takumi Toyonaga 9k
Lucy Tong 7k
Mark Wong 2d
Ivan Martinovic 20k
Mark Li 2d
Tatsuya Morita-Ahad 4k
Steven Chan 17k
Hiroko Eto 10k
Kristen Chow 25k
Ashley Chow 25k
Ahmet Zahid Balcioglu 3k
Emily Chan 20k
Alexander Leung 7k
Tohtoki Onishi 25k
Tara Jankovic 25k
Stefan Jankovic 25k
Howard Wong 5d
Saemi Yoon 24k
Bruce Li 4d
Ryan Liu 1d
Kazuko Funakoshi 2d
Jin Yoo 25k
Mina Yoo 25k
Victoria Peter 18k
Juhyung Yoon 5d