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-25 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 you 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:

World Youth Championships - England perform well, but miss the podium, in consolation event

After a good qualifying competition, the English Lions (Shivam Shah, Freddie Illingworth, Alex Roberts & Yvonne Wiseman) and English Cubs (Ankush Khandelwal, Ben Norton, Oscar Selby & Liz Gahan) unfortunately failed to finish on the podium in the consolation event of the World Youth Team Championships. The Lions finished well clear of the field in qualifying, finally getting the results that their play earlier in the event deserved, and although they led at the halfway point in the final they slipped back in to fourth. The Cubs qualified in 8th, and finished 9th in the final - a great result for the young team.

The NPCs have been writing blogs throughout the event. They can be read here.

World Youth Championships - U16s finish in 8th, U26s in 15th

The main events have reached a conclusion for our teams in the World Youth Team Championships in Italy, with the Under 16s finishing in 8th and the Under 26s in 15th.

The Under 16s (referred to as 'kids' on the event website) played the Netherlands in the 7th-8th play-off on Day 6 of the event, and took a good lead after the first session. They lost a very 'swingy' second set to fall behind narrowly with 14 boards to play, and the Dutch team pulled away in the final session to claim the 7th place. The team should be very pleased with their performance, however, given their lack of experience at this level. To win more than half of their matches in the round robin phase on their first appearance on the world stage was an excellent achievement. NPC Sarah O'Connor has reported that the team remained in high spirits throughout the event, and have thoroughly enjoyed the competition. With so many years as junior players ahead of them, let's hope it is the first of many good performances from this group.

The Under 26s ('juniors' on the event website) won one of their final three matches, so remained in midtable. Whilst the finishing position will be disappointing, their NPC has reported that they have played much better than their scores have suggested - for example, he has lost count of the number of 'anti-percentage' grand slams that have been made against the team. It is also worth noting that despite finishing 15th their score was closer to the team in the 8th qualifying spot than it was to the team in 18th. They will now play in a consolation event for teams not progressing to the knock-out stage, so will hope to get their share of the luck this time, and compete for some silverware.

The NPCs are reporting from the event - you can read their blogs here - and also check our social media accounts (which is perhaps more fitting for a junior event) for news and photos from Italy.

Under 26s: Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth; Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal; Ben Norton & Yvonne Wiseman; NPC: Alan Shillitoe; Coach: Jon Cooke
Under 16s: Harry Madden & Oscar Selby; Jasmine Bakhshi & Liz Gahan; Megan Jones & Henry Rose; NPC: Sarah O’Connor; Coach: Mike Bell

England juniors perform well at European Youth Pairs Championships

The 13th European Youth Pairs Championships finished on Sunday in Liepaja in Latvia. England had a large number of pairs competing (some are pictured), and there were some good results and prize winning performances.

The highest finishers in any of the main competitions were Oscar Selby & Harry Madden who finished 5th of the 23 pairs playing in the Under 16 Pairs, just a few match points outside the medal places. Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth were winners of the President's Cup, the consolation event for all pairs failing to qualify for a main final. Nick Dean, playing with Carolina Pimenta of Portugal, won a prize for leading 'transnational pair' in the President's Cup.

Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal gained the kudos of being the highest scorers of the 61 pairs in the qualifying rounds of the Under 26 pairs - though ultimately they finished 15th in the final. Will Roper & Alex Birchall also reached the final in that event.

Two English pairs reached the final of the Under 21 Pairs - Jonathan Clark & Kripa Panchagnula finished 11th, and Ben Norton & Sam Behrens were 13th. In the Women's Under 26 Pairs, Yvonne Wiseman & Carina Negreanu finished 10th of the 20th pairs.

Carina Negreanu & Nick Dean were England's leading pair in the Mixed Pairs, finishing 10th of the 52 pairs. The winners were Jun Nakamaru-Pinder and Olivia Bailey of Scotland meaning further bragging rights for British bridge.

The competitions are being followed by a three day youth bridge camp in which some of the English juniors will be taking part.

Youth bridge camps this summer

Unfortunately EBED will not be holding the Junior Teach-In this year, but there is still chance for juniors bridge players to attend residential bridge events this summer.

Sussex CBA is holding a summer camp at Ardingly College on 12-14 August, and Cheltenham BC is hosting an event on 3-4 September, with accommodation provided at Cheltenham Ladies College. These events are open to children of all bridge/minibridge abilities.

For more information:
Sussex: www.sccba.co.uk
Cheltenham: joanmbennett@hotmail.co.uk