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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Ken Barlow praised by world champions of bridge

A special guest blog post written for us by Professor Samantha Punch of Sterling University, who is leading research into the game of bridge.

Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!  

Bridge: A Mind Sport for all Ages

The card game of bridge is great for enhancing well-being, social connection, brain fitness and skill development - a fantastic mind sport for all ages. We are delighted that Coronation Street has a bridge storyline this Friday to allow people to see the bridge community in action. 

World Champions, Sabine and Boye express their love of the game:  “Razor-sharp thinking. Intriguing psychology. Social powerhouse. Complete digital detox. Just 52 cards”. (Sabine Auken, Germany)

"Bridge is condensed life. You need to solve a variety of problems, make a huge number of decisions and face emotional ups and downs. The social aspect of bridge - interacting with your partner and opponents - is also challenging and rewarding. It's a wonderful game. Live it." (Boye Brogeland, Norway)

Nowadays young people spend so long on their phones and digital devices that traditional ways of communicating are being lost. Bridge offers an interesting solution to encouraging parents and children, or grandparents and grandchildren to get together and have fun. 

The University of Stirling has set up a series of research projects into the health and well-being benefits of playing the card game. The first study, funded by English Bridge Education and Development (EBED), compared the responses of 7,000 bridge players with over 10,000 responses from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. It found that those who play bridge have higher levels of well-being than those who do not play.

A key aim of the bridge research is to distract people from their iPads and tablets, and encourage them to engage in social interaction and face-to-face communication at the bridge table. The Keep Bridge Alive project is keen to develop family and intergenerational approaches, as well as produce resources aimed at getting more bridge into schools, universities and even work-places. 

Professor Samantha Punch, leading the bridge research at Stirling, emphasises that bridge contributes to the making of new friendships and a sense of belonging across generations: “Bridge is a fascinating, competitive, engaging and exciting leisure activity that is an ever-changing puzzle. It impacts positively on player’s lives in many ways that transcend mental exercise, including friendship, socialising, travel and fun”.

A Keep Bridge Alive Pro-Am Event will take place on Thursday 20 February in central London, giving amateur players an opportunity to bid and play with professional bridge players. If interested in participating in this charity fundraiser, contact

Bridge is a great game for players of any age, it can alleviate boredom, and reduces the risk of social isolation, improving people’s well-being and mental health. We hope that the Corrie cast and viewers enjoy their first outing to the bridge world.

Read more about the projects here:                
Twitter: @soc_of_bridge

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

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