Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the 84th Annual General Meeting of the SBU.
There are some minor amendments to our constitution as advised in our agenda and I trust it will be approved.
It has also been decided to stop charging fees to our member clubs, which, I am sure, will please our club treasurers.
We had a problem with the men’s pairs this year and a decision was made to refund the entry money. The wrong movement was used resulting in us only playing 11 of the 24 pairs. Plus the results were not available for checking by the players. Finally all the results when published were allocated to the wrong pairs, which, with the help of many of the players took 3 days to finalise.
We also had problems with our ladies pairs and the competition, due to the collapse of the computer, was not properly graded for the matches in the swiss pairs. Who says we are not an equal rights organization. Unfortunately we had to refund the entry money for both events and the SBU met all the overheads plus prizes were still awarded.
Richard Jarvis, one of our past Presidents and a strong supporter of our competitions, died in February and he will be sorely missed. Believe it or not the last hand he played was 7NT requiring a squeeze play. We also lost Ian Morison who was one of our top players in the 70s and our second grand master.
In my second year as President, in connection with the European Bridge League, I have had the pleasure of visiting Belfast for three days of meetings.
Our ladies went on to represent us in China following their good result in the World Championship. In a very strong field of eight teams they were doing well but unfortunately fell away at the end due to exhaustion as they only had a team of four , however we did win the prize for the best played hand by Sam Punch. Our ladies have once again triumphed in the Lady Milne winning by a narrow margin over England. This has been followed up by our seniors winning the Senior Camrose comfortably with a match in hand. The rest of our international performances were poorer.
Liz McGowan is still trying hard to reduce her workload but has continued on the temporary editorship of the magazine and is doing a great job. Still would appreciate someone else taking on the task.
Thanks are due to our TDs who are having a few problems in placing results on the web but provided there is a working wifi this will be improved. We are also going to increase our training but are waiting the results of a report we have commissioned to find the best way forward. This year in an effort to improve our director’s standards, we again had Fearghal give a training session in Edinburgh that was well attended by a number of our intending directors.
Currently investigations are under way by Alan Officer to make improvements to our web site, as currently it is not always easy to find what you are seeking. This will require funding but currently no figures are available.
Our national league continues as our most successful event. I am still appealing for more home grown players in our congresses and we are trying out format changes as you will see in our July Congress brochure allowing you to play in the pairs on Saturday and teams on Sunday. Future weekends may also change please watch our SBU site.
Our overseas congress continues to grow in strength and as I predicted this was our largest turnout yet despite a number of our regulars not being able to make it but many new faces replaced them. All participants enjoyed this congress very well run by Duncan and Russell as our directors.
This coming year we go to Porec in Croatia, which I am sure you will enjoy. I look forward to seeing many of our members there.
I was invited to attend a dinner at St Leonards B C in Ayr celebrating being 75 years old. Very pleasant evening.
I attended the Scottish Swiss Pairs, which went very well, and the new premises were certainly spacious.
Our aims for education have been extended in the past year and a great deal of work has been put in by our education committee in designing new teaching courses These courses are to differentiate between various categories of pupils. The education committee has also been involved in running and organizing mini bridge competitions plus other bronze events.
Another project linked to the education committee which is suitable for part of our EBL fund, is the bridge film “Double Dummy” which is designed to entertain and generate interest in learning bridge. This film will be shown on 3rd June in the MacRobert Filmhouse at Stirling University at 5.00 pm with an entry price of £5. Come along with a non bridge-playing friend. Please.
What do the SBU do for our members?
- We organise competitions and congresses (usually successfully) for all classes of players and employ the directors and scorers plus display the results on our web page
- We train the directors and scorers from club level upwards
- We assist clubs or players with movements when requested
- We have lessons available for club teachers to use
- A body where any one teaching can obtain advice
- We organise our national teams representation
- We have public liability insurance covering any injury or damages caused by the bridge club members in any rented premises, which usually costs £75+. Any non affiliated club would not have the benefit of our free insurance cover. Nor can any non member of the SBU play in any SBU or district competitions though members of affiliated bridge unions may play in some competitions. The only open competitions are the SBU congresses.