A work colleague invited me to join her for some bridge lessons in the mid 1990s. Subsequent to this, I played twice a week for approximately 18 months (my friend did not last beyond beginner classes). Unfortunately, the travel demands of my career combined with my move to Canberra did not enable me to continue so I stopped playing for many years (13).
When I retired in 2009 I decided to do a beginner’s course once again as I enjoyed bridge and now had the time to commit. As I did not take too well to retirement I applied for the part-time National Marketing Officer position with the ABF and was successful. I have a strong interest in administrative practices and procedures and a love of planning and marketing. I wanted to keep my brain active and having a part-time role and playing bridge was my solution.
My experience from playing in a number of clubs proved that to be successful, a club needs to have a friendly atmosphere, good teachers and competent directors. It also must have a well thought-through education program so that new players can be introduced to the sport in an engaging and effective way. I did not want to be treated as dumb by someone who had played bridge for 30 years and I wanted to understand how best to continually develop my skills and knowledge in a ‘learning’ environment.
As I had some experience in developing skills and knowledge in my staff, I thought I would do the ABF Teachers’ Training Program in 2013. When attending the program I met the President of the Logan Beenleigh Bridge Club who invited me to teach beginners at her club. I then started doing the beginner classes and continue in the role to this day.
In mid 2014 I was elected to the Committee of the Toowong Bridge Club. In this role I have devoted time to developing a strategic approach to teaching, supervised play and mentoring so that the club can continue to grow its membership. This role continues and brings a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment as you witness people deriving a lot of enjoyment from bridge. The Club is investing in the development of teachers, supervised play ‘leads’ and mentors so that its members and potential members are provided with the best learning environment we can provide. We also are looking at issues around behaviour and club culture to ensure that newer players are made to feel very welcome.
I have found the training methodology and materials recommended by the ABF to be excellent. I am also in the enviable position of having participated in many of Joan Butts’ and Audrey Grant’s workshops over the last couple of years and use both of these impressive teachers as role models for best practice in teaching bridge.
My goals are to introduce people to bridge in the most effective, enjoyable way possible and to continue to develop my own skills and knowledge.