Carol Ritzen

Carol Ritzen has been a passionate advocate for Bridge in the county for over 25 years. Soon after she learnt to play the game herself, she started giving back. A teacher by profession, she naturally gravitated towards teaching, but also contributed in many other areas, including committee work and the organisation of a huge number of successful Devon Bridge events.

She was chair of the North Section of the Devon Bridge Association for a number of years (around the year 2000), supporting the four affiliated clubs in the North and leading on the organisation of the section's county charity events. 

She also spent two years as chair of the central Devon committee and later, spent approximately ten years on the education sub-committee, stepping down in June 2016. During her time on the subcommittee, she became an EBU-trained Bridge teacher, and went on to teach on courses for the EBU, the Devon Bridge Association, and residential courses across the country. As well as teaching Bridge players to be teachers, she also taught Bridge at all levels, from MiniBridge in schools to setting up the North Devon Bridge School. 

She started helping with the organisation of the North Devon Congress 26 years ago, and took over at the helm in 2010. Since then, she has been the driving force of this hugely successful event, leading the organisational team and also TD’ing the entire weekend. This she has done without a break (apart from a well-earned rest in 2021 when the Congress went online) until her retirement this year.

Carol was at the forefront of introducing technology into North Devon; initially with laptop computer scoring and then from 2008 by providing duplimated boards with print outs of hands for the Sim Pairs and other events including in her teaching groups. From 2013 she was very involved with the introduction of Bridgemates into North Devon and for some years was one of very few people who were able to run events using Bridgemates in the district.

Throughout all this time, she has also been involved in the running of the Barnstaple Bridge Club spending more than 20 years on the committee. 

Now that she has retired from running the Congress and has stepped down as chair of Barnstaple, the committee of the Devon Bridge Association feel that this would be an appropriate time to formally acknowledge her significant contribution to Bridge in Devon with an award.

Dimmie Fleming Award 2022