Youth

Bridge is a fantastic sport for people of all ages - particularly young people. It offers a combination of competition, socialisation, mental exercise, and fun which cannot be matched by other activities.

The EBU works with the charity English Bridge Education and Development (EBED) to organise and coordinate youth activities.

These include the Junior Teach-In, the Young Bridge Challenge, Under-21 & Under-26 Championships, and numerous other competitions and opportunities to learn, organised at a national, county, or club level. County Youth Officers coordinate junior activities in many counties.

Information and equipment for those wishing to teach bridge in schools, or to youth groups, is available from EBED. They also administer the Junior Award Scheme, which offers a series of graded attainment levels which the young player can achieve as they learn to play. Those completing a level in the Junior Award Scheme will receive membership of the EBU.

We are always seeking volunteers to assist in teaching and/or promoting bridge in their area. If you are able to help please contact Richard Banbury at EBED or your local County Youth Officer.

Bridge is a great way to compete, socialise and maybe travel the world. Watch this video from the European Bridge League - you could have this much fun if you take up bridge:

Young bridge players visit House of Lords

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Bridge welcomed another group of young bridge players to the House of Lords this week. The visit was by players from the Bridge4Schools programme in Berks, Bucks & Oxon, and started with a tour of the Palace of Westminster. They then played bridge with six Peers from the APPG - all of whom were all delighted with the enthusiasm the young players had for the game, and impressed by how well they played.

Many thanks to Baroness Henig and the members of the APPG for hosting the event, and to Joan Bennett for making the arrangements with the schools/parents.

Two medals and four World Championship places earned at European Youth Championships

England have enjoyed a fantastic European Youth Team Championships, which finished today in Slovakia.

The U26 Women and U21s won bronze medals, and all four teams qualified for next year's World Championships - England being the only country to achieve this. This exceeds the pre-tournament expectations with Alan Shillitoe, NPC of the U26 team calling it, "by far the best all-round performance we have achieved at this level". We echo his "congratulations to all the players who achieved this and thanks to all the coaches, captains and mentors who helped to develop and lead the players".

Under 21 NPC Michael Byrne says:
"I am incredibly proud of my team of 6 players Ben Norton, Sam Behrens, Liam Sanderson, Daniel Winter, Jonathan Clark, Kripa Panchagnula and Bryony Youngs as Coach who showed nothing but true grit and strength of character in the final day to win the Bronze medal.

"They played their hearts out and never gave up even when bad luck and illness threatened to ruin our success. They were all fantastic team players who gave their heart and soul to represent their country, and I am proud to stand alongside them as we collect our medal"

Alan and Michael have been writing blogs which you can read here. Alan has also been taking photographs which you can see here.

Final Position
Under 26s Shivam Shah & Alex Roberts; Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy; Toby Nonnenmacher & Kyle Lam; NPC: Alan Shillitoe; Coach: Jon Cooke (team photo) 6th Link to results
Under 26 Women Alex Birchall & Yvonne Wiseman; Siyu Ren & Ewa Wieczorek; Olivia Bailey & Hanna Tuus; NPC: Sally Brock; Coach: Bryony Youngs (team photo) 3rd Link to results
Under 21s Ben Norton & Sam Behrens; Kripa Panchagnula & Jonathan Clark; Liam Sanderson & Daniel Winter; NPC: Michael Byrne; Coach: Bryony Youngs (team photo) 3rd Link to results
Under 16s Competition finished on Wednesday - see here 4th

U16s finish 4th in European Youth Team Championships

After a fantastic final day, England's U16 team has finished in 4th place in the European Youth Team Championships. England's U16s have now finished 4th on both occasions that the competition has been held.

With three matches to play the team was in 10th place and hoping to capitalise on matches against lower-ranked teams to move into a qualifying place for the 2018 World Championships. A large victory against Denmark, and two maximum scores against Scotland and Ireland, saw them leap up the table to fourth place, securing another great result for the young team, and an invitation to play in China next summer.

The team was: Oscar Selby & Henry Rose; Liz Gahan & Andy Cope; Alex Pemberton & Theo Anoyrkatis; NPC: Mike Bell; Coach: Sarah Bell.

Stamford BC kicks off busy summer of junior bridge events

A busy summer of junior bridge events started on Friday when Stamford Bridge Academy hosted an Inter Schools Card Play day. Over seventy young players from seven schools took part, competing in either minibridge or bridge. The trophies were presented by Alan Shillitoe, manager of the England Under 26 squad and a driving force in the creation of the Junior Award Scheme.

This was part of Stamford's rapidly growing junior bridge programme, led by Liz Dale, Jenny Harding, Sandra Curran and Marlene Jones. Thirty-four members of the bridge club have received “buddy” training, and have gone on to create the chance for students to learn in sixteen schools so far - and that figure is set to grow.

Stamford is one of the many clubs which will be holding bridge and minibridge sessions over the summer holidays, giving youngsters a fun way to spend some of their school holidays, and allowing them to take their first steps in bridge.

A list is available on the EBED website. If you know of any others then please let us know.

EBED will also be holding the annual Junior Teach-In at Loughborough University on 1st-3rd September - see here for more details.

The Under 26 Championship Pairs will be taking place on 7th-8th August as part of the Summer Meeting in Eastbourne.