. . . when it comes to aging well. The Journal of Gerontology study mentioned in 48-1, said so.
“It is experience rather than skill that is related to superior performance on [tests of ] related cognitive skills.”
It is the total experience of playing bridge, rather than the skill level that seemed, from their study, to result in superior performance by bridge players on their tests. And we all are aware that the sociable bridge experience is a combination of friends, downright fun, along with the mental processes involved in playing bridge. Granted those mental processes may be at a less focused level than tournament or duplicate bridge–but perhaps the reason the benefits are equal is that the bridge player involved herself is less focused?
That the benefits of playing bridge seems true for both serious and sociable players, combined with the ACBL Longest Day fundraiser, offers opportunities for marketing bridge beyond that annual event. That is, if the ACBL can be convinced it’s in their interest to grow the sheer number of bridge players in America. Once hooked on the game, THEN going after the newcomers to try playing duplicate bridge, makes sense.
Just the willingness of the Alzheimer’s Foundation to link with ACBL in a bridge fundraising tournament is enough to target the health-obsessed young, and not-so-young, in America who want to live forever–preferably dementia free.
With that 90s study embedded in its consciousness the ACBL’s Longest Day annual fundraiser could broaden to include reach out by each ACBL club to the informal sociable bridge clubs in their area. Invite them in!
Come up with a competition amongst sociables to parallel that amongst the serious ACBL players.
Bring in some of the school-age serious young bridge players to compete with their elders that day.
Set aside space for people who have always wanted to learn to play bridge but reluctant to approach an ACBL club.
Let the kind-of festive atmosphere of a fund-raising event, perhaps with a promise of some TV coverage, be the icebreaker to recruit more newcomers to learning bridge.
Reach out to the White House! It’s known from various biographies that both of Barack Obama’s grandparents played bridge regularly — find out! Did Barack, by any chance pick up the game living with his grandparents as he did, in the way so many young people used to do?
The connection with raising funds for the vitally important Alzheimer’s Foundation might be enough for the White House to give the Longest Day bridge event its blessing.