The WBU is its members and the members are the WBU. We are the WBU and it is up to all of us to make the organisation the best it can possibly be.
We all love bridge – most of us have been playing for a long time, though there are a few more recent captives too. You all know someone for whom the game is a lifeline, keeping them in touch with the outside world and giving them an inexpensive way of keeping their mind active and having a great social life.
For others the intellectual stimulation is what it is all about – the challenge of mastering the cards, the opponents and their partner is all consuming (sometimes to the detriment of their table manners!)
The Bridge world is changing in all areas, competition entries are dwindling, and players seem to be reluctant to go away to play for a weekend although the same people seem to be happy to take holidays with or without bridge. We need to look at what we are offering our members and to change things that are not working. We have already begun to reorganise National Competitions and welcome any input from members regarding these. We are considering returning to the old format of moving finals around the country so that at least some years you won’t have to travel so far. We are also looking at simultaneous sessions so finals could be multi-centred.
We must try to encourage more youngsters to take up the game. It was recently pointed out to me that virtually none of the current top level players in Britain started playing bridge after the age of 21. Unless we address the shortage of Junior players in a few years we run out of top level players. Mini bridge is a great way into the game and all of us could teach our children, grand children or other family members in an afternoon.
We all love the game of bridge and have received a huge amount of entertainment, satisfaction, frustration and I hope a not inconsiderable measure of joy from playing. So spread the joy, teach your family, help your bridge club, volunteer for the WBU, join in and help others to feel the joy too.