You never forget your first time.

Beforehand, experienced Congress-goers were keen to offer their input. “It’s at least three times harder than club level bridge,” they warned. “The bidding is brutal,” they advised. “Don’t get your hopes up,” they cautioned. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. “You’ll learn so much,” they reassured. “The best thing you can do to improve your play,” they promised. “You will love it,” they declared.

They were completely right!

My partner and I entered all the Intermediate level events. We played all morning, afternoon and evening on Thursday and Friday, followed by the daylight hours of Saturday. We encountered a broad range of playing styles and a diverse array of bidding conventions. It was a demanding, stimulating, exhausting and glorious experience.

As well as learning by doing, we felt welcomed into a wider community of players, many of whom were delighted to share their expertise. By the time we boarded our flight home, we knew so much more about the strengths and weaknesses of our play. We came away with a clear understanding of how to improve our bridge, and with a commitment to make Congress a permanent feature of our annual calendar.

Congress was a rewarding experience that allowed me to delve into the intricate and compelling game of bridge. I recommend it to any player who aspires to improve their play. Receiving the Canterbury Regional Bridge sponsorship encouraged me to commit to attending my first Congress, and I encourage all eligible players to put their names forward for sponsorship. I am confident that it will be a memorable experience.

  • Jean Rath