October 27, 2021

38 juniors aged 8-17 and 24 teachers, parents and grandparents joined the South-Eastern Counties Junior Bridge Camp in the beautiful Sussex countryside at Bowles Rocks on 23rd and 24th October. It was the first face to face junior event since the lockdowns. The children enjoyed an intense weekend of training, competitions and much more. The England U-16 squad were there as well and used it as a training session, as they prepare for next year European Championships.

The first main competition was the Saturday evening pairs, won by William Battersby and Lottie Bedford, comfortably ahead of Zane Soonawalla and Theo Sinclair. The U-14 section resulted in a tie between Millie and Verity Hallam and Thomas Bradkin and Aleks Birdsall, and the Novice section was won by Tristan Humphreys-Cook. This was followed by the speedball event, where Rufus Barnett and Marco Vann (EW) were winners over top NS pair Raffy Sinclair and Andrew Bradkin.

Finally, the Priday Cup was held on Sunday afternoon over some feisty boards. The winners were Zane Soonawalla and Theo Sinclair with 65%, only 0.25% ahead of William Battersby and Lottie Bedford with Tom Furness and Lucy Norman not far behind. The U-14 section almost resulted in a tie again, but Cecilia and Aleks  Birdsall squeaked it by 0.25%. The Novice section was won by Ben and Hannah Cusack – Hannah being the youngest person there.

There wasn’t only bridge though. Saturday afternoon the kids engaged in a variety of activities, from rock climbing to dry skiing, from archery to bushcraft.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped make this weekend such a success. In particular, Sussex CCBA who run it, Kent and Surrey CBAs who sponsor it, teachers Michael Rushworth, Jessica Mauve, Diane Rogers, Alison Nicholson, and Giorgio Provenza, Director William Clennell, and Bowles Rocks for being such wonderful hosts. They even coped with some unexpected guests when the local Premier Inn had to close down at no notice. Last but most definitely not least a huge thank you to William Bourne, the heart and soul behind the event, whose commitment to bridge and junior bridge in particular is unparalleled.