Thank you to all the clubs which completed the survey which we undertook earlier in the year regarding teaching. We received 331 responses – over half of all affiliated clubs – so it gave a good insight and the answers have been very helpful to both the EBU and EBED in knowing where priorities should lie and in formulating strategies for future activities.
We were pleased to learn that around half of the clubs which responded offered lessons to beginners. Whilst this may not mean that half of all clubs offer lessons, it is encouraging to know that there is a good amount of teaching being undertaken. In addition a number of clubs which said they did not currently offer lessons expressed an intention to begin some in future.
The survey revealed that the majority of clubs which offered lessons required assistance in recruiting potential students . To that end EBED will be running an advert in the Daily Telegraph on 20th August to hopefully attract those who are interested in learning. The respondent will be encouraged to contact EBED and they will be put in touch with an EBU/EBED qualified teacher in their area who is running lessons in the autumn. Your club should have received information about this last month. If you are reading this before 19th August, your club has a qualified teacher who is offering lessons in the autumn, and you want to be added to the list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The survey showed that most commonly students were taking over a year before they were participating in regular club sessions. There was significant interest in a scheme which would encourage quicker progress, and therefore EBED has made a priority of developing Fast Forward Bridge. FFB will enable teachers to take students from ‘zero’ to a level where they can play a game in around 25 hours of teaching. Work on developing this scheme is well underway and will hopefully be launched this time next year, ready for the Autumn 2017 term.
It was significant, however, that respondents estimated that only an average of around 30% of students went on to play ‘club bridge’. The most commonly cited reason was believed to be the perception (or reality) that the transition was too big a step to make. This issue will therefore need to be addressed at all levels – the EBU, EBED, counties and clubs. Your club may wish to consider what it can do to assist beginners, whether it is supervised play sessions, a ‘buddy’ scheme, or simply encouraging your ‘regulars’ to be more welcoming and accommodating of those who are taking the next step in their bridge.