Monday, 30 April 2007

Barry's Blog 13

In my brief time here at the EBU it has become clear that the EBU has, over the years, provided too little to its core membership, and its clubs. We have spent much of our time developing our good reputation for running tournaments and congresses.

We are, therefore, concentrating our attentions on the delivery of meaningful and helpful services to our clubs and the mass of the members of the EBU that are not regular tournament players. As a result, it was decided by the Board a few months ago that we should create two new posts - these are a Club Liaison Officer and a Communications Officer.

We are well advanced in the hiring for both positions and I would expect them to be filled within the next three weeks.

The duties of the Club Liaison Officer will include the fundamental task of being an accessible and visible face of the EBU to its affiliated clubs; most of whom have never seen anyone from the EBU at their club. The CLO will visit as many clubs as is practicable and will be available for consultation with club committees or management and its members, before hopefully playing and thus meeting many of those present at that session. This will help the CLO cultivate a wealth of knowledge about clubs and their needs, helping them overcome any problems they may face. The CLO will also work with our County colleagues to get as much coverage within the country as possible. The CLO will also be working with our Communications Officer to help us increase the visibility of bridge clubs in the community. Together they will compile a new electronic club newsletter and web forum, to allow interaction of the EBU membership online.

The CLO will help us develop valued services especially helping clubs develop through the Focus on Value education project and the Partner Teacher scheme.

Partner Teachers and Partner clubs are beginning to move forward and the first Learn and Play clubs are now being formed. Indeed next month a new club is being launched in Kent with some novel publicity. I expect that this will feature in a future article in English Bridge, so more later.

We have now run two courses for Partner Teachers, and have trained some brand new EBUTA teachers as well as adding to the skills of a number of existing teachers who are considering becoming full Partner Teachers. The next course is due to be run during the week of the Brighton Summer Congress. We have room for more attendees; please contact click here for more information or click here to email Lisa Miller who will be pleased to help you.

More "new beginnings" include our new Editor for English Bridge, Elena Jeronimidis, who brings many years of experience in the Bridge magazine field to us. She is full of ideas and contacts that will help onward development of our members' magazine and build on the excellent work done by our departing Editor, Brian Cook, who we wish well in the future. Elena's first issue will be in August.

We are keeping a watchful eye on new technology developments in the bridge market and we are beginning the redevelopment of software used in our own congresses so that we can make increasing use of current technologies such as Bridgemate.

Lots of activity, lots to do...