Junior Bridge Weekend Cheltenham

A large group of Welsh youngsters with teachers Sophie Cunningham and Leanne Jones and helpers Ceri Pierce, Simon Brindle, spouses and parents joined around sixty others to participate in this event. Neville and Margaret Richards attended to assess the offering with a view to staging a similar event in Wales at a future date. Joan Benett and Ro Kaye the organisers were ably assisted by well qualified helpers including Michael Byrne, Patrick Shields, Alan Shilitoe, Dave Armstrong, Tony Hill, and John Skjonnemand. EBED were well represented by Richard Banbury and colleagues, togther with Bernard Eddleston, an EBED trustee, accompanied by his wife Margaret.
Cheltenham Bridge Club gave superb hospitality and truly excellent catering was provided by Anne Swannell assisted by Peter Swales. Ashok Kwatra CBC Treasurer donated a splendid prize trophy.
Lord Skelmersdale, Roger Bootle-Wilbraham, 7th Baron Skelmersdale a member of the all parliamentary bridge group travelled from Taunton to support the weekend and presented the prizes on Sunday.
Accommodation organised by Ro Kaye was generously provided by the Cheltenham Ladies College and proved ideal for the youngsters.

All the excellent pictures were taken by Pauline Sanderson and freely given to the WBU for our website. Thanks Pauline you are a treasure!

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Feedback from Ceri Pierce

What a fantastic Junior Bridge weekend in Cheltenham – I was amazed. The 6 teenagers that I was helping with, who had never played bridge before, were bidding independently and playing a duplicate AND speedball after just one afternoon of tuition. Not only that but they were confident and motivated enough to play in the ‘main’ duplicate with the more experienced players and regular club players by Sunday afternoon.

Playing only by instinct, I saw them making overcalls, execute dummy reversals, work out that partner had a long suit from the bidding in order to defend accordingly and make unblocking plays v NT – just from instinct and not because they had been taught it. Really amazing – and quite fascinating. Let’s hope that our Welsh juniors will get bitten by the bridge bug and not only go on to become our bridge players of the future, but will encourage their friends to take it up as well.

I also think that it was a really good idea for the juniors to be able to play in a duplicate with the regular members as that gave them a flavour of the gravitas and the competitiveness of club bridge. And the Cheltenham members really enjoyed it as well. From the comments that were made to me, they thought it was great having young people there.

What a great outcome! Thank you for your support.

Best wishes


From Myra Scott a member of the teaching team

Hi Sophie

Lovely to hear everyone had a great time. We did, too.

I just want to say that, although I didn’t do any card play with the group I saw lots of excellent play so please pass on my congratulations to who-ever taught them Minibridge. Well done!

Hopefully see you next year.

Best wishes.