Bridge enthusiasts in Montgomery County promote national online classes for kids in Southwest Virginia

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 5:37 AM EDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - There’s a new online program that brings kids together from around the world and teaches them Bridge. And folks right here in our hometowns are hoping kids from Southwest Virginia will join the club.

Chances are when you think of the game of Bridge, you probably picture an older generation sitting around a table playing cards- like Susan Bricken and Carole Spencer from Montgomery County.

“My husband and I have been playing for about five years,” Bricken said.

“Probably 50 years,” Spencer said.

“I got into it because at that time I was swimming and lifting weights and I thought, you know, I’m going to be an old person that’s in shape but has absolutely nothing to say so I need to do something to stimulate my mind,” Bricken said.

And that same stimulation, as well as a love for the game, is what Bricken and Spencer want to pass on to the younger generation through a free, online program called Bridge Whiz hosted by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) Educational Foundation.

“Right now it is being offered in the United State, Mexico and Canada,” Spencer said.

“I would like every child in Southwest Virginia to take the spots,” Bricken said.

Once a week, students in 4th through 12th grades learn how to play Bridge from the vetted experts.

“[Parents] can actually select the day and time that will be best for their child to participate,” Spencer explained.

And there are plenty of advantages to learning Bridge.

“Bridge is like taking your brain to the gym,” Bricken said.

Players learn logic, analytical skills, how to strategize and plan ahead.

“It teaches children to meet challenges, to handle defeat, to manage the stress of everyday life,” Bricken went on. “It teaches them to set goals, discipline, teamwork and ethics.”

And it might just be the solution to bridging the gap between generations.

“How wonderful it would be if your child is actually teaching you how to play Bridge,” Spencer said. “Grandma and grandpa come over and you are actually having quality time together as a family.”

And it’s fun!

Beginning in October for 20 weeks, students will participate in a 90-minute class once a week. They will learn how to play from the ground up; no prior knowledge necessary. And it’s free.

To find out more information and to sign up your students, click here.

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