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The reason why the committee announced in January that they wished to establish an Online Bridge Group was because of the known isolation of some members & the likelihood of that continuing for some time. This reasoning has been why many of our interest groups have adapted their activities by the use of Zoom or by operating in smaller groups permitted by Covid regulations applicable from time to time (eg Walkers). Bridge seemed to be an ideal activity to mitigate this isolation.
What has emerged from last month’s announcement in our Newsletter is that some members of our u3a have of their own initiative joined Bridge Base Online (BBO), & have been playing for several months with family & friends (some being in our u3a). However other members of our u3a who would have wished to do so have not been able to get involved, especially if they needed encouragement & assistance to learn how to play online because they lack confidence in their technological skills.
Committee members, Peter & Pauline Worboys & Sue Edmonds, have been looking at BBO. It is necessary to register with BBO. Guidance on how to do so can be given & it is straight forward to do (it must be if Peter & Pauline did so!). Registration & use of the system is free. It is possible then to practise playing games alone with “robots” to improve one’s skills before progressing to playing a real game with up to 3 other members who themselves would need to register. In other words, one can polish one’s skills before encountering fellow humans! Playing solo can itself be quite enjoyable.
However, the committee’s objective remains to reduce isolation, & therefore seek interest from a few more members so that enough can be helped to progress sufficiently & set up foursomes amongst themselves. Perhaps this might result in some members continuing to play online after lockdown ceases. That would have the advantage of not having to play on specified dates hosted in members’ homes (as happens at present).
If there is a sufficient number of members wishing to be involved, probably it will be desirable to set up a WhatsApp group so that any member can circulate an invitation to make up a four. Again, help is available to set up a WhatsApp on members’ mobile phones. Otherwise, names, phone numbers & email addresses can be circulated.
Please contact Pauline Worboys at email@example.com if you are interested.