Thursday, 26 February 2009

Blog 34 - England, England

I was recently invited to a celebration party for the English teams that were so successful at the World Mind Sports games in Beijing. Just to remind you, our ladies team won a Gold medal, our Open team won Silver as did our U21 Junior team. Speakers at this party pointed out that this was the most successful English team event EVER. We have won world championships before, but the overall performance of all five teams was outstanding.

While I was there I was speaking with one of the Gold medal winning ladies and I had to point out to her the strenuous efforts that we made during the last week of the competition, when it seemed we were poised to win a few medals, to obtain some media coverage. Unfortunately we almost drew a complete blank until, literally at the last minute, we were able to make contact with James Mates, the ITN news presenter (and an enthusiastic EBU member), who managed to insert a thirty second news slot at the end of the 11pm news along with a still photo of our victorious ladies and open teams (full transcript here). As a result we made some national radio news bulletins the next day….still a poor reward for such outstanding achievement.

The same speaker at the party went on to say that this should serve as a springboard for future international success for our English teams, which again led me on to think about what our members (and non members for that matter) think about the success of our international teams. This success is due in no small way to the dedication of the participants themselves to be the best they can be, and the very many volunteers who make up the support staff; the non playing captains, coaches and selectors.

It would be really nice if bridge players throughout the country showed more support for our teams; the publicity that we could get for future success will help develop our game at all levels, and perhaps bring in more money for the game. So, watch out for future events; we always highlight these events on our web site and most of these events have featured games on Bridge Base Online, where you can very easily watch live games and see how it should (hopefully) be done. You can learn from the experts, at no cost, and at the same time support your team! Which brings me to my final point – we are investigating setting up a supporters club for our international teams. Would you be willing to join? If so, how much would you be willing to contribute? Let me know (email: so we can ensure that we can build on our success.