Lottery funds for next generation of bridge players

Oliver Powell, rear, coaching other young players
Oliver Powell, rear, coaching other young players

A TOP Southwick bridge player is helping to encourage other young people into the card game.

Oliver Powell, a member of the England Under 20 team, is a junior with Old Barn Way Bridge Club in Southwick and Bridge Bug in Hove.

As a member of Sussex County Contract Bridge Association, he has been using his expertise to help others in the game.

Some of the young people he has been helping recently have said playing bridge, one of the world’s most popular card games, has helped with their school work, especially in maths.

One mum said: “I have definitely seen a huge leap in their self confidence since they started playing.”

The association wants to reach out to the next generation of players and is offering free bridge tuition to people of school age, following a successful National Lottery application.

Chairman Andy Ryder said: “Bridge has picked up a bit of a reputation for being an older person’s game but some of the best players in the world are under 25.

“Lots of young people are getting into poker at the moment and bridge is a far greater challenge. We want to find the next generation of great players.”

The association is calling on youngsters who are keen to take on a new mental challenge, enthusiastic and want to have fun with people from any age group.

Several bridge clubs are offering free bridge tuition. Regular sessions will be held in Hove, Worthing, Horsham, Patcham, Eastbourne and Bognor.

Worthing Bridge Club meets in Byron Road, Worthing; Avenue Bridge Club meets in Third Avenue, Hove; and Horsham Bridge Club meets in East Street, Horsham.

For information on tuition for bridge players of any age, visit or visit the Facebook page Youth Bridge in Sussex.

Andy Ryder can also be contacted by email at or telephone 07905112878.