The extra-curricular ‘Bridge in Schools’ programme will give students the opportunity to complete both locally and internationally. *File photo
The extra-curricular ‘Bridge in Schools’ programme will give students the opportunity to complete both locally and internationally. *File photo

Students at Warwick Academy and Saltus Grammar School are benefitting from a new youth programme that aims to “change the face of Bridge in Bermuda.” 

The extra-curricular ‘Bridge in Schools’ programme will teach students aged between 11 to 16 to play the game of strategy while giving them the opportunity to complete both locally and internationally. It is hoped that the programme will eventually be rolled out to more schools across the island. The Bridge Club of Bermuda is looking for teachers to help facilitate this.

Bridge is a card game played by four players (two pairs) with a deck of 52. Following an ‘auction’, the object of the game is to score points by taking ‘tricks’ during play and eventually to win two games (or a ‘rubber’).

John Burville, a member of the Bermuda Bridge Club, told the Bermuda Sun: “The Bridge Club has always wanted to try and start a Bridge in Schools programme. Kids really soak it up they are just so smart at picking up Bridge, it is incredible. There are lots of studies about how Bridge can help students with maths skills — it is a very intense memory game — more intense than Chess. You never stop learning — every time you reach another stage you see there is always so much more to learn. 

“We send people all over the world — we just went to a major event in Beijing and played against the biggest and best teams in the world. This will give young people a lifelong experience, some will become very passionate about it.”

Bridge in Bermuda has traditionally attracted participants aged from the early 20s upwards but it is a game that can be
enjoyed by all ages. The World Bridge Federation is actively encouraging in the creation of youth teams. Burville added: “I see this as changing the face of bridge in Bermuda —it’s big.”

The American Contract Bridge League is providing supplies for the programme including decks of cards, learning material and trophies for local competitions. 

While the programme is currently only open for students of the Saltus and Warwick schools, students are encouraged to learn about Bridge as it is hoped the programme will soon be rolled out elsewhere. Online resources include www.acbl.org, btfy.org and youth4bridge.org

The Bermuda Bridge club can be contacted via www.bermudabridge.com