President report 2013

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President’s report for the year 2012/2013:

In 2012, I have continued to support Welile Gogotshe in his program of teaching go in Soweto primary schools by paying a small stipend, a large portion of which is a loan from SAGA, the repayment of which will depend on the final review of our financial statements. Arnold Wentzel's support made it possible for the Soweto schools to have a tournament, which was a success, although the level of play was apparently not high. He is continuing to support the project, and is assisting with the preparations for the first 2013 tournament.

Welile has taken the first steps towards establishing a new non-profit organisation to support Soweto Go by reaching out to his local political representatives for technical support. SAGA does not have the means to continue to fund this project beyond the current year, however, so new sources of funding must be found or else the project will almost certainly fail.

The Membership secretary (Paul Steyn), supported by other members, has continued the review of the credit point system to ensure equitable selection of representatives to attend international tournaments. Due to the lack of sponsorship, however, no representative has yet been found to attend the World Amateur Go Championship in Japan in 2013. No representative was available for the World Mind Sports Games, either.

John Leuner represented South Africa at the World Amateur Go Championship in 2012, winning three games out of eight, and finishing in 40th place. Andrew Davies represented us in the Korean Prime Minister's Cup, and finished in 51st place, with three wins out of six. Carle Joubert and Francois van Niekerk represented us in the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Japan, winning one of their six matches, and finishing in 28th place.

Besides the regional club tournaments, a new tournament was launched in 2012/13: the Gauteng blitz tournament (which ended in a tie between Andre Connell and Welile Gogotshe with four wins each). The North vs South Friendship Match was also revived: a team match between the Gauteng and Cape players, won 5-3 by the team from the North.

Chris Welsh wrote an app to allow registered users to access the ranking system from Android phones, greatly simplifying the process of capturing club games.

John Leuner has prepared the financial statements, completing a task that has been pending for long time. This has taken a significant effort, with input from a number of council members, to achieve consistent financial reporting, allowing us to plan effectively for future activities.

The focus areas for SAGA in 2013-2014 will be:

  • to search for sources of funding to allow us to continue our development efforts in Soweto.
  • to build stronger relationships with other Go associations, by discussing the option of an EMEA regional development, and with major Go-playing countries, through contacts with local embassies. This has remained a neglected item on our agenda, and will need focus in 2013.

David Richfield

SAGA President