The County Association comprises 15 affiliated clubs and 334 individual Members. It would be nice to see these numbers rising. We organised a New Players Tournament in March of this year, which attracted 56 entries, and very few were Members of affiliated clubs. It would be good if the County and the Clubs could do more to attract new players into organised Bridge. This should include thoughts on how to encourage Bridge at school and junior levels. Three Committee meetings were held during the year. Excluding VP's, we have 18 Officers and Delegates on the Managing Committee and I would encourage all of them to attend the Committee Meetings and bring the views of their Clubs to bear on county matters.
Having already mentioned this above, I can add that it took place on a Saturday and was held over two sessions and 36 boards as a formal duplicate tournament with scoring by computer on the day, bidding boxes in use and Master Points being awarded. Gladys Gittins should take credit for proposing the Tournament to help people who are trying to make the difficult transition from being learners to being Club players. The prizes were presented by Andrew Lansley MP which rounded off a very successful day. It is intended to repeat the event next February and combine it with a heat of the National Newcomers Pairs.
Formerly known as the Eastern Counties Pairs, this event was supported by 7 Clubs in the County. A net total of £417.13 was raised for charity and the beneficiary was Care Network. A proposal has been received from David Man for CamSight to be this year's charity and this will be considered by the Committee at the first meeting after the AGM. There were some complaints from Members there was just one set of hands used by different Clubs on different nights of the week and this restricted play for those who are Members of more than one Club. The date for this year's event is week commencing Monday Nov 25th.
There has been some correspondence with members about the format of the final and the uncomfortable venue. This will be taken into account by the Committee for this coming years event. This should not distract attention from the hard work of the organisers and the excellent play of those taking part all of which I am sure will be reported upon by the Tournament Organiser.
The Cambridge Club has purchased an automatic dealing machine. It is hoped that this will also be of value to the County and individual Clubs from time to time. The County has bought its own bar coded cards and special boards and will use prepared hands for County Matches and other County events. Prepared boards can be obtained from the Cambridge Club at a modest cost for events at other Clubs. The main advantages of the prepared boards are the truly random nature of the hands (computer generated) and printouts of the hands to study after the play.
The Committee is indebted to David Allen for excellent work in setting up the County web site. For those of you with Internet access, the address is cambsbridge.org.uk. The information available on our web site includes details of affiliated Clubs, County officials and contact points, events calendar and results, news and views including County Newsletter, and links to the EBU and elsewhere. The site receives about 130 visits per month.
I attended the annual County Secretaries meeting last June. I learned quite a lot about the organisation but I still have a lot to learn. Just for your interest, the EBU has 29,456 Members and a turnover of £1,585,403 pa. If anyone wants to know more about the EBU or feels that they have issues that should be aired then please feel free to contact me at any time in the future.