Updates from Aylesbury - 5th October 2023

Below is your monthly update from the EBU. Please note there are a lot of important topics covered this month. All previous updates are available on the EBU Updates page.

This poster shows the upcoming EBU events. Please consider adding this to your club/county website and encourage your members to enter online via My EBU.

Message from Adrian Darnell (EBU Chair)

I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself as the new EBU Chair.

For those who don’t know, Ian Payn has been the EBU Chair for last 4 years, and I succeeded him some two weeks ago. I was elected to the Board 3 years ago, was the Vice Chair until most recently, and it is a great privilege now to be the EBU Chair. I, and the whole of the Board, are looking forward to meeting all the many challenges but we sincerely hope there will be nothing like the Lockdown period!

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is the obvious need to recruit and retain new members and we are actively examining a host of ideas around marketing, the teaching of students, and integrating newcomers into our Clubs and competitions.

For those interested, my own bridge history started as a teenager, but I hardly played when I went to University. In my 20s and 30s I played a lot of squash, and once I had stopped playing several times a week I discovered the Club had a bridge evening. I restarted playing bridge in my 40s, and have been playing Club and County bridge for about 30 years so. As we all know, it’s a wonderful game and we, the current players, really do have some duty to share it with those who have never played and with those who have played but not for some years or so.

I look forward to working with everyone as we all strive to ensure that bridge carries on its recovery from the COVID years and moves from strength to strength.

Competitions Working Group

The EBU is supporting counties in running a programme of national online events that are exclusively for players with NGS grades up to 9 or Jack. Although the events are run by counties, they are open to anyone in the country who is qualified via their NGS grade. We hope you will encourage your players to take part in these new events.

The National Handicap Pairs Championship, which took place in September, was won by Ann Field & Carol Duckett from Worthing Bridge Club in Sussex. Thank you to all the clubs and counties for taking part.

As a reminder the National Inter Club Knock Out (NICKO) 2023/24, entries close on Monday 9th October at midday. If your club would like to enter, please complete the Entry Form (word) (pdf) and send to louise@ebu.co.uk.

Education Working Group

The EBU board is committed to ensuring that anyone wishing to learn bridge can find a route which suits them and which enables them to progress from novice to player at their own pace, and to have pathways from classroom to clubroom and for those who want it, competition, according to their own personal ambitions. Our strategy to achieve that is to:

  • Encourage more players to become teachers and teacher assistants (both f2f and virtual), so that throughout the country we have enough to meet demand
  • Ensure that every club knows where to direct any interested newcomer, building on the EBU’s online service to connect enquirers with clubs and teachers
  • Support clubs with resources and ideas to help students move from learning to becoming fully integrated into club sessions
  • Help clubs to integrate recruitment with online teaching in cases where that is the best approach available.
    We welcome ideas (and reports of your experience) as to how to further progress each of these strands

We also encourage clubs which have financial blockers to progress with teaching to approach their County Association and the EBU, as either might be able to help.

Sponsorship Opportunities

We have several opportunities available for potential sponsors of major tournaments or teams. Youth bridge could also be an area.

These are open to both individuals and companies, either to promote a brand or for personal altruism by way of “giving back”.

On offer are naming rights and (for companies) brand activation with visibility at the event venue, lead up communications, in English Bridge magazine and on the website. Our membership of approximately 45,000 are predominantly approaching or actually retired and ABC1.

A recent example is that of a finance company sponsoring a youth team for an international competition, for which we and the young ladies concerned are very grateful.

The costs depend on what is sponsored and the extent of the take up of the options, but we are talking of four figure sums upwards. All subject to discussion and agreement.

To find out more without any commitment please contact learnbridge@icloud.com for an initial chat with Ian Sidgwick, one of our board of directors.

Free Club Seminar: tips on directing club sessions

On November 14th at 10.00am we will be running a free online seminar on the topic of directing club sessions. This is not a training session for new directors; rather it is a chance to discuss issues such as:

  • How to keep a session friendly
  • How to get help with a difficult ruling
  • Recent law changes from a club perspective
  • Common problems when directing and tips on how to solve them
  • We will have the Chief TD Gordon Rainsford in attendance. If there are subjects you would particularly like to discuss please let us know in advance so we can be sure to include them.

Book now by contacting sam@ebu.co.uk

The recording of the previous club seminar: Gentle Duplicate is now available to watch on the EBU YouTube channel. Slides from the seminar are also linked below:

Links to all previous club seminars.

County Chairs Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended the recent County Chairs meeting on 20th September, the recording of the event is now available. The minutes will be published soon.

Marketing Expertise?

We are looking for an injection of Marketing Expertise to support the effective promotion of our game.

Help us ensure the future of Bridge and the pleasure of playing and other benefits that it can bring to people of all ages. You would be joining a small team of enthusiasts. We come from various professional backgrounds but plainly need to add senior marketing experience.

If you might be able to volunteer part time and wish to learn more about this please contact Tony Russ (tonyruss@icloud.com)

Bridge Warehouse - Autumn Offer

£15.00 Off a box of 10 Dozen Superluxe Cards. Normally £165.00 now £150.00. (£15 per dozen). Use Code EBU136. Online orders only. Offers end 31st October, while stocks last.

Check the Bridge Warehouse website for all the latest offers and newest items in stock.

Club Director Training – new dates for autumn

EBED offers training to help you become a club director. New courses this autumn are scheduled in Manchester, Sutton Coldfield, Canterbury and Norwich. See the director training calendar for details. For more about these courses visit the EBED website or contact clive@ebedcio.org.uk.

Directing Courses – delivered online

For those wishing to gain an introduction to face-to-face directing at their club EBED is offering the “How to run a club duplicate” session delivered over Zoom, 2/3 November (new date).

Also, you can be trained to use the EBUScore scoring program via an online session on 29 September details of EBUScore Training.

For any queries related to director training courses, please contact Clive on 01296 317212 (clive@ebedcio.org.uk). All our current dates are listed on the TD Course Calendar and are bookable through My EBU, or by phone (call Lisa on 01296 317217).

Test your directing knowledge – Free Online Quiz

Test your knowledge of common situations facing a Club Director by taking EBED’s new club director training quiz.

This free quiz is ideal for those wanting to prepare for an assessment as part of the EBED’s club director training programme, or for existing directors wanting to refresh their knowledge.

Picture Competition

The EBU are looking for new and exciting images to promote the wonderful game of bridge. Can you or your members produce a photograph, painting or drawing that conveys the fun, drama and excitement of the game of bridge?

Please encourage your members to enter this competitions. The artist with the winning picture will win not only honour and prestige (and our gratitude) but also some cash towards their next camera lens, smartphone, or bridge congress!

Further details and how to enter.

Calling clubs and county associations – tell us your news!

We are featuring club and county news in our blog. If you have any news to share please do let us know, preferably with a picture or two to go with it! Contact sam@ebu.co.uk.

Club directory – please update your club details

A reminder for clubs, please check your club details in the Club Directory and submit our online club details form. Please log in to check ALL your clubs details are still correct. More information is available via the help link on the club directory page.

Counties, please also update your county officials' details online, county details form.

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