Bridge not for faint-hearted
For the past three months, Tuesday nights at the Matamata Bridge Club have seen scenes of confusion, bewilderment, scratching of heads and a great deal of laughter.
In total, 19 brave students chose to learn the fascinating yet frustrating card game of contract bridge. Tutor Jane Stearns presented the lessons with gusto and enthusiasm, aided by a glass of wine at half time, and patiently nurtured her flock through the 10 week course.
‘‘ People don’t realise what a hard game bridge is,’’ Stearns said. ‘‘I watch them leave the first lesson looking reasonably confident that this is going to be a breeze. By the end of lesson three they are frazzled and thinking it is impossible.
‘‘It is simply the best card game in the world and such a challenge to learn. I haven’t dared tell them yet that they have only skimmed the surface and there is in fact so much more to learn,’’ she said.
A graduation day was held at the bridge club last Thursday, with the clubrooms packed to the rafters.
There was a happy buzz as the graduates played their first game of club bridge supported by their ‘‘buddy’’, a regular club member who has stepped forward to mentor their beginner on their bridge journey.
The students had a wide age range from their 20s to their 80s.
Stearns said bridge was a great leveller.
‘‘It is a game for all ages and one that is hard to master and gain consistent form in. Results see players top one week and bottom the next. It is a very social game and already good friendships and bonds have been created among the new students who support each other in their learning journey.’’