An excited bunch of kids the evening before the tournament started
As you may recall, in our July newsletter, we told you about 12 young Norwegians participating in the Lyon World Bridge Championships. The Norwegian Bridge Federation used, amongst others, the income from the NBF tournaments held on Funbridge in May, to sponsor them.
They kindly gave us their permission to share the article they wrote about the event and this “special delegation”. You will find a partial translation below.
Partial translation of the article written by Marianne Harding, 22 September 2017.
How often can you see a hall crowded with players aged 13 or younger in a bridge tournament? In Lyon you could! More than 120 pairs participated in a tournament for “rookies”, i.e. kids that have been learning and playing bridge for roughly a year only.
The School WC was held in parallel with the other World Bridge Championships events and Norway was represented by six pairs from Sandnes bridge club (Junior category).
Sandnes bridge club for Juniors started less than two years ago and the number of kids aged 9-15 playing at the club is nearly 40. They regularly play bridge every other Friday with around 10 tables each night. The focus is on social aspects, but as at all other bridge clubs, they fight hard for points.
The NBF (Norwegian Bridge Federation) was invited to register six pairs in the School WC and the enthusiasm was great when the kids were offered to compete with the Norwegian flag on their chests. In addition to the 12 players, a solid support team of parents and siblings joined them on their journey to France.
Players from a lot of countries were there: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France (obviously a large group), Italy, Taiwan and China amongst others. […]
However, it was not so much about the game on this occasion. The mere fact of seeing so many young kids playing bridge and having the opportunity to meet pairs from all over the world was a great inspiration for all participants. Furthermore, the tournament was held as a complement to the World Championships for U16, Junior Girls and U25.
We believe that many of the players taking part in the School WC returned back home with strong ambitions to come back to compete for honour and glory in upcoming events. And competition is expected to be fierce. China particularly stood out with a lot of participating players. Actually, they were so many that they had to charter their own plane for the trip to Lyon (traveling together with the Chinese teams registered in the other Junior categories).
The event was brilliantly organised by The French Bridge Federation: the tournament itself, social events (joint guided boat ride), accommodation, transport and food. Such an experience will most likely turn these kids into players looking forward to the next bridge club event once back home, in their pursuit of becoming even better bridge players.