Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Barry's Blog 18

I was recently invited to visit the Stroud Bridge Club which has tried something different to boost their membership, with a lot of success; twice a year they run a "newcomers" evening. It was organised as a team event, with around eight newcomers to duplicate bridge playing East/West. When we played against these people only very basic systems were allowed, so as not to "scare" newcomers. We could do as we wished against "regulars"; that was interesting adding and deleting things, table by table! The pace of the game was much slower than on a usual club night, to give time to people who may have been unused to just about everything they were experiencing.

It was an extremely pleasant evening, with everyone behaving brilliantly and the newcomers had a great time. My team consisted of an English junior international who partnered one of the oldest club members, and my partner was a relatively young man who told me that he has been playing for 36 years since he retired aged 55! We came fourth, which was fine, but the experience was the interesting part.

The club has a couple of active juniors who were taught locally and are now ultra keen players. The club also feeds its new players in on nights such as this; this is very similar to the Partner Teacher / Partner Club programme that we are now running, with increasing success. Good luck Stroud Bridge Club, keep it up!

On another subject, as a result of national legislative changes I have been investigating the possibility of the EBU becoming a charitable body, and also for the possibility of many of our affiliated clubs achieving charitable status. The Board has approved an investigation into the possibility by a specialist law firm and I have now kicked off the process. They believe that it is quite possible for this to happen; if it does it will save the EBU and its members a lot of money in the future and could save clubs money as well. I will provide more details as soon as I can, but the process is complex and it is not possible to give any more details at this time.

Finally, our team of Lady Internationals have left for China where they are competing in the Venice Cup, having qualified for this event by winning a bronze medal in the last European Championships. I am sure that you will all join me in wishing them the best of good fortune in Shanghai. We will provide up to date information as best we can on this website.