Our thanks to Seamus Costello, who co-ordinated all the activities, and to all those local volunteers who took part in events during national bridge promotion week in August.
We had more than thirty major promotions all across the country, in shopping centres, supermarkets, libraries, bridge clubs, community centres, and at events such as the Killag Show in Wexford, the Taste of Cavan, and the Marigold Festival in Sutton, north Dublin. And we had a celebrity visit from Daniel O’Donnell (a keen bridge player) to the Templeogue Centre to lend his support to the cause.
The feedback is that those involved found the exercise very worthwhile, and that the materials and supports provided by CBAI HQ were most appropriate. These included tee-shirts, pull-up banners, posters, flyers, and playing cards, and some stock remains available for any club or region that would like to use it.
While the promotion activities did bring home the reality that the appeal of bridge is not that easy to capture for the uninitiated, nevertheless we were successful in raising the profile of bridge, and in signing up new students for classes. We also got decent coverage in local newspapers and on local radio.
The main conclusion, as Seamus Costello has been at pains to stress is his communications, is that WE HAVE ONLY JUST BEGUN. Having got a flavour of what’s required to increase awareness of our great game, and attract new members to it, it’s vital that we keep the efforts going. There are few clubs in the country that would not welcome new members, or benefit from an increased awareness of bridge within the community. So we need to keep getting the message out there. We intend to hold other formal promotion programmes in the future. But if your club or region has an idea that you would like to pursue, don’t wait for a promotion week – just get out there and go for it. And if we can help, just let us know.