Nobody disputes the benefits of exercise to keep in shape and enjoy the feel-good factor. But what about some mental gymnastics as well?
The game of Bridge is rapidly becoming recognised as a great way to keep the brain in trim and open up a new social scene at the same time. Recent studies claim that Bridge players remain mentally alert well into their eighties! 300 000 people playing on a regular basis in this country make the game one of the most popular leisure activities around. It works for everyone, whatever your situation.
The game is played with four people in two opposing partnerships, but you don’t need a regular partner – most clubs have host sessions for newcomers and individuals. A good memory is an asset, but not a pre-requisite; the memory can be trained and Bridge is very good for that, as it is for fostering powers of concentration.
Never played before? No problem. Clubs generally offer lessons, allowing beginners to be integrated and move on to play with existing members. Not competitive? Again, no problem. There are matches at various levels, but also plenty of opportunity for simply social play. Costs are minimal – you do not need any expensive equipment or designer kit. And forget boredom. No two games are the same as every deal poses a new problem – and problem-solving in Bridge can easily have a knock-on effect in real life.
The Keighley Bridge Club is a thriving and friendly club, catering for all levels. It has a membership of around 200 and a host system for beginners and newcomers. Classes are taught by a qualified and experienced teacher and are also aimed at those returning to the game. The comfortable clubhouse has a secure car park and easy, level access.
For information, see the website www.bridgewebs.com/keighley or contact John Spencer at
email@example.com – tel 01282 702228 or Mike Rattenbury on 01535 669699
For more general information, check out the English Bridge Union website at ebu.co.uk