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2017 Youth Awards

The Australian Bridge Federation Management Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients of the major youth awards for 2017:

Andrew Reiner Trophy: Matt Smith & Jamie Thompson

Jamie Thompson, Matthew Smith, Tomer Libman, Andrew Spooner, Francesca McGrath, Renee Cooper
Jamie Thompson, Matthew Smith, Tomer Libman, Andrew Spooner, Francesca McGrath, Renee Cooper

This award is granted to the best performed pair in international competition taking account of performance in the events themselves, commitment to preparation and contribution to team success

The choice of the two non-playing captains at the PABF Championships Korea, Matt and Jamie performed consistently throughout the round robin event. They were also successful in winning the Open Swiss Pairs event.

Helman-Klinger Achievement Award: Renee Cooper

This award, worth $400 annually and supplemented with a further $200 from the Friends of Youth Bridge Fund, is presented each year to the Australian Youth Bridge Player whose ability, achievements, sportsmanship, attitude, contribution and commitment during the calendar year are most deserving.

Renee has had a few very strong performances in Open competition, including a silver medal at the ANC in the Open Butler Pairs. She is always nice as pie at the table and has put a lot of work into developing her partner Cesca.

Helman-Klinger Masterpoint Award: Renee Cooper

This award, worth $200 annually and supplemented with a further $100 from the Friends of Youth Bridge Fund, is awarded to the Australian Youth Player who earns the most masterpoints in the calendar year in question.

This year Renee won with 144.33 masterpoints (actually Matt Smith won with 301.77 but you can only win this award once). Renee has had some exceptional results in 2017 and is a deserving winner.

Matt and Jamie

Hills-Hurley Trophy: Matt Smith and Jamie Thompson

This trophy, donated by Richard Hills and Steve Hurley, is to encourage talented young bridge players in forming long-standing partnerships and reward successful pairs which have developed a well-organised partnership to harness their full potential.

Ability and achievement

Matt and Jamie won the 2017 APBF Open Swiss Pairs together, and were 5th on the SNOT datums together. They have also had their best open results in the last year – Matt reaching the GNOT final, and Jamie winning the VCC and reaching the NZ Teams semi.

Sportsmanship and attitude

Jamie has unfalteringly good manners and ethics. He doesn’t gloat nor bags his partner’s errors. Jamie is a strong and selfless team player, and is becoming a natural leader with a mature attitude and temperament. He is dedicated to partnership bridge, and to fostering sound psychology in himself and his peers. Matt is actively ethical, and strives to be as pleasant and respectful to all as he can be. He is also self-motivating.

Contribution and commitment

Matt and Jamie have both proven their commitment to bridge. Jamie’s dedication has been acknowledged with the Helman-Klinger award. Matt’s dedication borders on obsession! Matt moved from Perth to Sydney to pursue bridge, and owns and has read over 250 bridge books. Matt routinely fine-tunes (and re-writes) his and Jamie’s methods, and works religiously on his own game. Matt also gets involved with discussions about how to make sure there is a strong youth contingent rising up in the future. They practice online typically four to five nights per week, in stints of often four to five hours. Matt and Jamie both take initiative to seek out knowledge to improve their partnership abilities, and their individual weak spots.