Source: ABF Newsletter

Providing funding for the expansion of Youth Bridge

The Friends of Australian Youth Bridge Fund was initiated around 2002, with a donation by Avon Wilsmore, Denis Howard and David Stern.

The stated goal of the Fund was to provide funding for the expansion of Youth Bridge that was outside of the domain of the Australian Bridge Federation.

Further funds were added through various means including:

  • The generous donation of a session of bridge with most of the professional Australian bridge players, which were then auctioned off in the early days of the internet. Such was the demand that some players agreed to donate additional sessions to be auctioned. One such auction raised close to $10,000.
  • Direct donations by players who wanted to encourage Youth Bridge as the way forward for the game, and to address the ever increasing average age of the bridge playing community.
  • The Gold Coast Congress in recent years has donated all of the contributions towards their guest speaker sessions.
  • The fund underwrote and actually contributed around $10,000 to ensure that Australia hosted the 2005 World Youth Bridge Championships held in Sydney. Without that underwriting it is FRIENDS OF YOUTH BRIDGE by David Stern Providing funding for the expansion of Youth Bridge likely that the event would not have been staged in Australia.
  • The FofYB Fund owns a number of screen tables which were used in the 2005 World Youth Bridge Championships in Sydney, and these are rented to the ABF for their tournaments as needed.
  • One international player often donated their travel subsidy to the fund.

It would be fair to say the fund has a healthy surplus with which to meet its goals and objectives. All funds earn interest and are held by the ABF, but are under the control of the administrators, which at this time are Peter Gill and David Stern.

But what projects (more than 100 in total so far) has the FofYB Fund contributed to over the years?

  • One of our goals is to ensure that no youth player is prevented from competing in national events based on financial circumstances. Based on this we generally fund around $200, or, in the case of WA, $300. Preference is generally given to full time students, and we usually ask for details surrounding their circumstances.
  • We have purchased beginners books, boards, cards and other materials to support those who teach bridge to youth, either privately or in schools.
  • While our general policy is not to fund travel for youth to compete in overseas tournaments, we have contributed to a team to compete in Croatia in an Under 16 tournament, as well as some others over the year.
  • We contribute $300 annually to the Helman Klinger Youth Awards to increase the total prize money to $600.
  • An annual subsidy to ensure strong youth participation in the Bateman’s Bay Congress.
  • Apartment accommodation for youth players to minimise accommodation costs at the Gold Coast Congress. • A donation to an Academic Study in the UK on the benefits of playing bridge, which will definitely assist in ‘selling’ bridge to educators.

In recent times the Fund has seen some recipients of grants make contributions to the fund, thereby recognizing the benefits to them and ensuring the longevity of the Fund. In general terms, everybody associated with Youth Bridge is aware of the fund, often print details on tournament brochures, and direct all enquiries to the administrators of the Fund. For more details contact David Stern at: David.stern.bridge@gmail.com

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