As we approach the end of the year, it seems a good time to look back at some of the things that have happened during it. One of the most important innovations is the establishment of the Membership Development Campaign, which follows on from a similar initiative run by Yorkshire CBA over the last couple of years. The aim of this national campaign will be to help various clubs around the country work to maintain and expand their memberships, with practical support and recruitment ideas provided by their counties and the national organisation.
At a county level, we recently saw productive meetings, prior to the EBU AGM, of three groups of counties, which we hope will wish to go on to form working groups for the South-West, South East and Eastern groups of counties, to join the already-thriving Northern and Midlands groups.
Internationally, the main news was the participation of all four of our junior teams in the World Championships in China, thanks to the tremendous generosity and support of our members, clubs and counties. While they may not have brought home medals, they all performed creditably, and the experience will no doubt stand them in good stead for future championships, where they are certain to continue to do us proud.
Other international achievements this year include: the Black team winning a bronze medal in the Champions Cup – our best ever performance in this event; all three English teams qualifying for the World Championships in Wuhan next year; and in Orlando Sally Brock and Fiona Brown winning gold medals in the Women’s teams, along with a number of other English players who won various medals in other events. Sally’s successes there now put her at the top of the WBF Women’s Ranking, a truly remarkable achievement.
Closer to home, in the office we have seen more staff changes this year than usual, saying goodbye to Julie Murray, Liz Goodchild, Emma Gardiner and Peter Stockdale, as well as temporarily to Clare Burnage until her twins are big enough for her to return.
In their place we have welcomed Steve Walker to the Bridge Warehouse, Briony Mobey on reception and Sam Kelly as Communications Officer, along with David Emerson who has joined our associated charity, EBED. We are also glad to have gained Tim Anderson as our Membership Development Officer, working part-time on the Membership Development Campaign mentioned above.
Appealing to a broad range of members, our regular online EBU Funbridge games continue to be successful, attracting a loyal and steady following (me among them!) To start the year off there will be a free game on January 1st , so if you haven’t tried them yet, here is an opportunity to do so without spending any money!
Finally, I would just like to wish our members all the best for the festive season and a Happy New Year.
PS Those of you looking for something to do over the holiday period might be interested in the Year End Congress in London or the Blackpool Year End Congress. The London one includes the Jack High Swiss Pairs on Friday 28th, which is aimed at club players who are interested in taking the first steps into congress bridge but who may not wish to jump straight into a major congress event.