Sarah Mathews

Sarah has been teaching bridge to beginners and improvers for over twelve years and started using the "Bridge for All" course as soon as it was first published.

She continues to do so in a modified manner. Classes are small no more than three tables. Courses start in the second week of September each year on Mondays from 10.00am - 12 noon, or Wednesday evenings from 7.00pm - 9.00pm. There will also be intermediate lessons on a Tuesday evening.

Sarah soon realised the students needed somewhere where they could play together in a relaxed manner with help at hand and therefore started the Birches Bridge Club. It was so popular that an Improvers Club was formed fifteen months later. This now has 93 members, more than half of whom are current or ex-students.

Dimmie Fleming Award 2021 Citation:

Sarah Matthews has been closely involved with bridge in Herefordshire for the last 25 years as a county player and director; a teacher of hundreds of new bridge players; founder of The Birches Bridge Club and as the organiser and administrator of many significant county events from the early 1990’s into the 2010’s.

Herefordshire Green Point - Sarah ran this event, which welcomed 80-90 pairs annually, virtually single-handed both when it was a single county event and then when it became the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Green Point, having assisted with the transition.

Tollemache - Sarah took care of virtually all of the team’s background activities providing the essential, but often un-noticed, support which allowed the players to focus solely upon the bridge. Sarah provided this support until the role became less necessary with the arrival of computers and the internet.

Open Swiss Teams - Sarah initiated, organised, directed and led the scoring team at this county wide event for more than a decade and a half.

Teaching - Over 20 years ago, Sarah recognised the need to bring more players into the game. She created her own training programme, initially teaching one small group in a room at her local village hall for them to practice playing hands for an hour or two each week. This training was very well received, demand grew quickly, expanded to two groups totalling 30 to 40 new and improving bridge players. Sarah insisted that her pupils became members of the EBU and as she saw them develop into better, committed players she actively encouraged them to play at other clubs in the county.

Sarah provided a way into the game for people looking for a new challenge, many approaching retirement age and at the same time they made many new, life-long friends. She truly changed people’s lives and over the years has introduced hundreds of people to the game.

Having now decided to retire from bridge we wish the EBU to recognise the immense contribution Sarah Matthews has made to the game, its players and the County Association in Herefordshire and to the EBU itself by promoting membership. She has played a major part in both the development and administration of bridge within our county.