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:

Shivam Shah wins two medals at World Youth Open Championship

Congratulations to Shivam Shah (right) who has won a bronze medal in the teams competition at the World Youth Open Championships.

Shivam was playing with Christian Bakke (of Norway) and Guillermo Minutti (of Uruguay) & Maximo Crusizio (of Argentina)in the Villa Fabbriche team.

Stephen Kennedy & Michael Alishaw, and Ben Norton with Noah Thomas Apteker of South Africa, were narrowly defeated in the quarterfinals. In the BAM event which followed they were lying third prior to the final round, but had to withdraw. Shiavm's team carried on where they had left off, however, joining the competition and going on to take the silver medal.

The English players also put in good performances in the Pairs competition, although they missed out on the medals. Shivam, playing with Christian, finished 6th, Stephen & Michael were 8th, and Ben, playing with Noah, was 9th.

Junior and teaching awards presented at the Summer Meeting

At the Summer Meeting four awards have been presented to those who have excelled in junior bridge, and to those who have made significant contribution to the teaching of young players.

Young Player of the Year: Ben Norton
Young Pair of the Year: Stephen Kennedy & Michael Alishaw
The Alec Salisbury Award winner: Sarah Bell
The Tom Bradley Award winner: Jessica & Anton Mauve

The achievements of Ben, and of Stephen & Michael, during the period in consideration have been numerous. They have all been mainstays of the junior international squads which have enjoyed a good run of results recently - culminating in all four teams qualifying for the 2018 World Championships - and in domestic bridge they have all won titles at major EBU congresses. The links above give more detailed information.

The Alec Salisbury Award recognises a school teacher who has made a significant contribution to junior bridge. Sarah Bell, of St Paul's Girls School, was instrumental in the establishment of the U16 squad, and in the success that came about so quickly for the team. She has also established a bridge club at the school and has contributed to the development and growth of the Junior Award Scheme.

Jessica & Anton Mauve have been key in the burgeoning junior bridge scene in Kent, and were presented with the Tom Bradley Award, which recognises the 'non-school-teachers' who have made a significant contribution to youth bridge.

English success at ACBL Summer Nationals

The team of Tom Paske, Alexander Hydes, Sarah Bell & Marusa Basa have won the Freeman Mixed Board-a-Match (Point-a-Board) at the ACBL Summer Nationals in Toronto. They won the four-session competition by just over half a board.

Isaac Barden was part of a winning pair (playing with Lukasz Kucharczyk of Canada) in the junior competition, the Morning Cardrook Pairs.

Update: Not to be outdone by his son, Paul Barden, playing with Graham Osborne and Americans Robert Bell and Lou Reich, won the snappily titled Saturday/Sunday Knockout Teams 1 on the final weekend of the event.

Further update: David Gold and Mike Bell reached the semi-final of the Spingold Teams, one of the most prestigious events on the ACBL calendar. Playing with Richard Schwartz, Jerry Stamatov and Diyan Danailov they lost to the Lavazza team in the final four.

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.