News Jan / Feb. 2014
The bridge competition was again directed by Norman Gray in his usual calm and relaxed style. The students create a really friendly atmosphere every year which is a testament to the way the game of bridge is developing now.
The winners were Sue Baylis & Sheila Myers playing north/south and Eunice & John Ferguson playing east/west. The beginners’ group winners were Sue Pickering & Leslie Bell.
If you are interested in learning bridge details of our classes are on our website morpethbridge4all.co.uk or contact Tessa Lee on 07773889597.
TAXMAN DECLARES CONTRACT BRIDGE IS NOT A SPORT
A tax tribunal yesterday dealt a losing hand to the English Bridge Union, which had wanted to be recognised as a sport so that members would not have to pay VAT on their competition entry fees, which amounted to pounds 631,000 in 2012-1
Not even the fact that Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, the former Wimbledon tennis champions, are keen bridge players, swapping one sort of grand slam for another, would sway the panel.
The English Bridge Union (EBU) had argued that bridge is a healthy pursuit, pointing to studies showing that regular contests may benefit the immune system and reduce the risk of dementia. It also insisted that if activities such as croquet, darts and billiards qualify as sports, then the 50,000 members of the union should also be seen as sportsmen.
The EBU's barrister, David Ewart, QC, asked whether it was "really possible to draw a distinction between the mental skill needed in planning a snooker shot, or a croquet stroke, and the physical skill used in executing it". Alas, he was trumped. Dismissing the EBU's appeal, Judge Charles Hellier explained: "To our minds, sport normally connotes a game with an athletic element, rather than simply a game.
"Contract bridge involves some physical activity, but not a significant amount. The physical activity is not the aim of participation and physical skill is not particularly important to the outcome."
The tribunal decided that the interpretation of the tax exemption was clear and refused to refer the dispute to the European Court of Justice.
In passing judgment, Judge Hellier admitted qualms that failing to recognise bridge as a sport might discriminate against older people, who form the majority of players. The Australian
In his youth he enjoyed playing football and his desire to perform to the best of his ability never left him.
Indeed as little as 3 years ago he encouraged me to enter Senior Trials something I had not really considered and when I won my first cap was one of the first to congratulate me. Bill became a good friend to three generations of my family and his example of table manners is a lesson to us all. He could not understand why so few people now enter NEBA events and even into his 90’s he was competitive at the table. He had a number of charming partners including of course his dear wife who pre deceased him.
Like many others I will certainly miss him.
I can safely say the bridge world is a poorer place without him.
Doubtless he has already found old friends and is enjoying a game and hopefully looking down on us fondly.
The format of the Congress has reverted to pre-2013 timings.
Further information and all hotel & congress bookings from Janet Sheppard, Brougham House, 25 St Helens Street, Cockermouth Cumbria, CA13 9HX.
Telephone 01900 821421; email firstname.lastname@example.org
MARY PAGE IN AUSTRALIA
TD TRAINING COURSES
26 April, 2014 Essentials
7 June, 2014 Book Rulings
17 July, 2014 Judgement Rulings
20 Sept, 2014 Assessment
Booking should be made via the EBU. There are 16 places per session and each session needs about 10 members to run on a viable basis.
CAN BRIDGE REALLY BE SO ENJOYABLE?
SENIOR EUROPEAN TRIALS
YEAR END CONGRESS - BLACKPOOL
2014 NEBA CONGRESS