Kirsten Hartley

Kirsten Hartley
Southern Highlands Bridge Club

How did you discover Bridge? When did you first start playing?
Bridge has been in the background all my life. My grandfather was Bridge correspondent for The Times in London, a column which my father took over in the early ’50s as my grandfather’s health declined. He wrote books on Bridge which I still have. Unfortunately, my grandfather died before I was born and my mother never played so although we played cards as a family, it didn’t include Bridge, something I now regret deeply. I started learning to play late in 2018 when my mother-in-law, a keen Bridge player and Life Master, was coming to live in the Southern Highlands and needed a partner, so the family all looked at me! It was then that I met Judith Capps who was running a local U3A course for beginners in Bridge.

Why did you decide to become a Bridge Teacher?
It was a no brainer. I took to Bridge like the proverbial duck to water and love playing. Although I’m relatively new to the game, I can relate keenly to how new players feel, the pitfalls and common misunderstandings. Learning should be loads of fun and the goal for me is to inspire an inquiring mind into finding out more.

What do you enjoy most about playing/teaching Bridge?
When playing: There are so many nuances to playing – it’s endlessly interesting. But I love the challenge of a particularly knotty 3NT contract.
When teaching: The lightbulb moments when students “get it”. Having learned through a local U3A course, I decided to give back by volunteering to assist new students in later U3A courses. It’s a fabulous experience to see people move from rank beginners to feeling confident they can join the local Bridge Club.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you?
I’ve been in business for over 40 years and love entrepreneurship both for myself and for others. Nothing better than seeing someone following their dreams.