July 24, 2014
“Seriously Social” bridge as an alternative for both Bridge Teacher’s Association teachers and duplicate drop-outs. Denise Dodd’s story out of Brisbane in Australia is living proof that giving duplicate bridge drop-outs a second chance can be good for both the drop-outs and the bridge teachers.
I came across Seriously Social Bridge via a link from Master Point Press, and wrote to Denise Dodd, its website publisher, to ask about it, since it is precisely the kind of thing I’m always hoping will happen here in America. [See http://www.seriouslysocialbridge.com.au/]
At that website, Denise describes joining forces in 1997 with Tony Jackman—County Mail bridge columnist, bridge partner and achiever—in setting up a club for social (rubber) bridge players within the Queenland Irish Association, a hundred-year-old bridge club.
She then elaborated in her email reply to me, that a change in her life not long after that meant she had to suddenly earn a living. Unable to find work, Denise decided to set up her Seriously Social Bridge Club venture as a path to income. At one point, she says, she was running four different seriously social bridge venues.
Denise, now semi-retired, has just one venue “(probably the best in the country)” which meets at the Queensland Cricketers Club on Mondays, 12 to 20 tables each week. They play from 10-1, “have a wonderful lunch, network and enjoy each others company.” This has led to her taking “her ladies” on travel/bridge holidays all over the world. And their non-bridge playing partners and friends are welcome to come along.
Why were Denise Dodds and Tony Jackman in Australia, willing to embrace the concept of teaching social bridge to those, as she describes them, who did not want to play duplicate in clubs with their “too stressful” atmosphere?
I credit that “openness” to social bridge, to the fact that Denise played rubber bridge for a year before taking up duplicate bridge. After that she seemingly became an ardent and full convert to duplicate and competitive bridge. That year playing rubber bridge, however, must have made her aware that social players want something quite different out of the game from serious duplicate players and that social players will always outnumber duplicate players.
What about the bridge columnist? Perhaps just a thinker-outside-the-box?
What I’d like to know more about is this–how did that initial club within The Irish Association go down with the bridge establishment? Same question for Denise’s entrepreneurial venture forming four Seriously Social Bridge Clubs to earn a living?
When I have more information on these aspects, I’ll blog about it. Meanwhile, Denise Dodds provides a model for bridge teachers out there intrigued by her Seriously Social bridge.