February 2016

South Bucks Bridge Centre Donated to EBED

As users of South Bucks Bridge Centre will be aware, the bridge club and its associated limited company was very generously donated to the charity English Bridge Education and Development, by the owner of the land and buildings utilised by the Centre, Laurie Champniss.
EBED remains committed to its intention to promote South Bucks Bridge Centre as a centre of excellence and to organise its bridge teaching, but as from 1st June the responsibility for the playing sessions will be returned to local control by the EBU affiliated South Bucks Bridge Club, a new company limited by guarantee.

Barry Capal
Director – South Bucks Bridge Centre

Two new staff appointed

English Bridge Education and Development are pleased to announce two new appointments. Richard Banbury will be starting on February 23rd as our new Business Manager. He will be spending his first two weeks being briefed by Sue Maxwell, who has been acting as Interim Manager since November. From March 7th Sue will be taking up a post as our Education Manager.

We welcome them both and wish them well in their new positions.

EBED Spring & Autumn Sims to support research in to cognitive benefits of bridge

EBED is taking a scientific approach to establish whether playing bridge delays the onset and severity of dementia. With little scientific investigation so far, EBED is fundraising to enable a formal scientific evaluation of the topic.

All proceeds from the EBED Simultaneous Pairs events in May and September will go towards funding EBED’S work. Simply by playing in one of the Sim Pairs – or by helping your club to organise a heat – you will be assisting a project which will make a difference not only to bridge players, but to the health and wellbeing of the general public.

EBED is planning a research project at Imperial College, London that will scan the brains of bridge players and compare them to appropriate controls. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology will allow scientists to examine the brain in states of rest and then examine the networks and connections utilised whilst undertaking a cogitative task such as playing cards. It will allow them to examine the differences in the anatomical structure and function of the brain in bridge players and non-bridge playing controls.

For the first time it will be possible to see which areas of the brain are activated during a game of bridge. At the end of the project there will be a quantitative measure of the possible neurological benefits of bridge.

As part of these investigations EBED will also examine the social benefits of playing bridge in collaboration with Professor Samantha Punch, University of Stirling. It will try to establish how much of the health benefits are due to the social interactions provided by bridge playing and how much is due to the cognitive activity of playing cards.

Please encourage your club to take part in one of EBED’s Sim Pairs events. And then take part in a heat yourself. Information for clubs on how to register, and a list of clubs which are taking part, are available at www.ebu.co.uk/sim-pairs.

Join a bridge club in retirement and live longer

Researchers at the University of Queensland have published a study in the online medical journal BMJ which concludes that being a member of clubs and social groups - such as a bridge club - after retirement reduces your risk of premature death.

The study looked at the activities of over 400 English retirees. Retirees who, after retirement, reduced the number of groups with which they were involved saw a significant increase in their risk of death in the first 6 years of retirement - from 2% if they were in two groups, rising to 12% if they left both groups. The rate for those who joined an additional two groups fell to 0.4%. The figures for an equivalent reduction in physical exercise were very similar, showing that group membership is as important as physical exercise in reducing the risk of premature death in retirees.

This highlights the importance of socialisation to older people, and helps to reinforce the position that bridge offers a great deal to those in later life. Bridge not only offers cognitive stimulation, but provides social interaction that is key to the health and happniess of retirees. The researchers noted that for every group that participants lost in the year following retirement, their experienced quality of life 6 years later was approximately 10% lower.

The researchers' conclusions include a recommendation that future retirees should be given help with social planning, alongside the more common financial advice. Similarly it shows that those providing care for the elderly need to look beyond 'health' and 'physical fitness'. “In this regard, practical interventions should focus on helping retirees to maintain their sense of purpose and belonging by assisting them to connect to groups and communities that are meaningful to them,” the researchers recommend.

So the message is clear - if you are a member of a bridge club, don't leave; and if you're not, join one!

Entries open for the Young Bridge Challenge

The 2016 Young Bridge Challenge, organised by English Bridge Education and Development, will be held on Saturday 5th March 2016 at Loughborough Grammar School.

It is a free, one-day bridge event for school-age players of all experience levels, and consists of:

Schools Cup for teams of four players all from the same school.
Swiss Teams for teams of four players from bridge clubs, schools or mixed teams from more than one school.
Minibridge Pairs for players of school age who are just learning the game.
Short pairs duplicate for accompanying adults.

Where possible please enter in advance. To enter, or for more information, please download the entry form, phone Lisa Miller on 01296 317217 or send an e-mail.

Richard Banbury appointed as EBED Business Manager

We are pleased to announce that Richard Banbury will take up a position as EBED Business Manager very shortly. We welcome him to the charity and wish him luck with his new job.

Richard plays bridge regularly in Hertfordshire (which he has served as Treasurer and President) and the London area, as well as acting as TD at numerous competitions and running many club sessions. He has previously been employed in the telecoms industry, working in India, Singapore and Russia. You can read his full biography here.

Learn to teach bridge in schools

A session is being held on Saturday 20th February for those wanting to learn how to introduce bridge to youngsters in the classroom. Tutor Alison Nicolson will guide you through how to teach minibridge, and some basic bidding, to young students.

The course takes place at the Oxford Bridge Club, 147 Banbury Road, Oxford, from 9.45am (for a 10am start) to 1pm. For more information, or to book a place, please contact Holly Kilpatrick, Youth Bridge Organizer for Central and North Oxfordshire.