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 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:

Double Dutch at the Junior Channel Trophy; England employ 'three second rule'

70 junior internationals put the 'young' back in the Young Chelsea Bridge Club, as it hosted the Junior Channel Trophy this weekend.

The Netherlands won two of the competitions, securing a narrow victory in the U26 event, and a comprehensive win in the U26 Women's competition. The U21 competition was won by the French team. The Dutch winners of the Channel Trophy (for the U26 competition) are pictured receiving the cup from Baroness Henig of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Bridge.

Baroness Henig expressed her delight at seeing such enthusiasm for bridge amongst the young players, gave thanks to the organisers of the event, and praised the NBOs in England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands for their support of junior bridge.

England finished second in all three competitions. The U26 team ended the first round-robin in fourth, but good wins in the second set of matches, including a big victory over Belgium in the final match, saw them leap up in to second place. The U21s were in third for much of the event, but results in the final match - a large win against Belgium and defeat for the Dutch against France - saw them jump in to second place. The U26 Women were second for much of the event, and finished comfortably in that position, a long way behind the runaway winners, but 17VPs clear of third.

The England teams were Under 26s: Shivam Shah & Alex Roberts; Will Roper & Alex Birchall; Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy; NPC: Alan Shillitoe
Under 21s: Ben Norton & Sam Behrens; Kripa Panchagnula & Jonathan Clark; Daniel Winter & Liam Sanderson; NPC: Michael Byrne
Under 26 Women: Laura Covill & Olivia Bailey; Yvonne Wiseman & Megan Jones; Jasmine Bakhshi & Liz Gahan; NPC: Bryony Youngs.

"Bridge is cool": The Times reports on the rising popularity of bridge among young players

Bridge is "quite cool". So say the increasing number of juniors learning to play.

The Times featured an article on Saturday reporting on the rise in popularity of bridge amongst young players. The charity English Bridge Education and Development regularly receives calls from schools and bridge teachers wanting to introduce bridge into the classroom, and the number of juniors involved in activities organised by the EBU, EBED, affiliated clubs and counties, has risen sharply.

Bridge is proving very popular with the young players - in the article Gabriel, a pupil at Weald Primary School, describes it as "quite cool". Not only is bridge a fun activity for the children, but teachers and parents have also observed how it offers numerous opportunities for academic and personal development.

The BBC also featured the story on Radio 5 Live (see below) and talked to school teacher Ann Hutchison and junior internationals Jasmine Bakhshi and Liam Sanderson. The story was also on their Breakfast program on Sunday morning (sadly that is not available to watch on the iPlayer), and on Radio 5 Live.

English Bridge Education and Development are very keen to help establish bridge groups in schools and can provide equipment, teaching materials and contacts in the local area to help get things off the ground. Please contact Richard Banbury - richard@ebedcio.org.uk - for more information.

England U16s perform well in Czech Republic and finish 7th

An England Under 16 team finished seventh in the Czech Republic Junior Teams Championship this weekend.

The team of Oscar Selby & Henry Rose, Jasmine Bakhshi & Liz Gahan, Alex Pemberton & Andy Cope, with NPC: Mike Bell, competed against eleven other junior sides - including some U26 teams and many with more international experience.

They struggled in their opening qualifying matches, finishing fifth of the six teams in their group. They bounced back well, however, finishing second in the next group phase to move on to the 5th-8th playoff. They lost their 'semi-final' but an emphatic victory in their final match saw them claim 7th place and improve on their good performance in the 2015 competition.

Young bridge players visit House of Lords

Bridge players from Weald Community Primary School, near Sevenoaks, and from Weydon School in Farnham, Surrey, visited the House of Lords on Tuesday to play bridge with the Peers.

Following a tour of both the House of Commons and House of Lords they played bridge with seven members of the House of Lords. Although both groups had only started bidding recently they acquitted themselves well in their new surroundings - having played minibridge for a few years their card play was particularly good.

During the visit they were visited by Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence and Member of Parliament for the constituency in which Weald CP School is situated. He is pictured addressing the visiting group during a break in the game (you can also read his report on his website). The MP for Weydon School's constituency, Jeremy Hunt, was unable to attend, but sent a message to the visiting group and said he would visit the school's bridge group in the near future.

The visit was organised as a joint activity between the EBU, English Bridge Education and Development and the All Party Paliamentary Group for Bridge. The EBU, EBED and the two schools would like to thank Baroness Henig and all the Peers for making the visit possible.