Bridge Federation’s Youth Programme Impresses ABF Chief

| May 13, 2015

Botswana Bridge Federation (BBF) is an example of good youth development structures.

Therefore, other countries could emulate Botswana’s long term plan for young bridge players, president of the Zone 8 African Bridge Federation (ABF), Bernard Pascal, said in an interview on the sidelines of the ongoing African Bridge championships in Sharm El Sheikh, Eypt,

Pascal said it was interesting to see how a country where bridge was unknown in the past few years was able to develop g minded young players who had an ambition to reach professional levels.

Pascal said he considered Botswana a success story, adding that the country had achieved so much that no one ever achieved since they set objectives for grass root bridge development.

He said the game of bridge itself was a challenge especially to some developing countries in Africa and for Botswana to have produced an impressive number of players was commendable. The ABF president said the sport was faced with challenges such of lack of publicity in the media hence lack of sponsorship.

Pascal explained that now that there was an indisputable abundance of raw talent, his main focus was to support the country’s youth structures especially on the technical aspect of the game.

“It is clear that the young players have not received a clear understanding of highly competitive bridge games. They need support on the technical field and I am going to organize all this. The intention is to appeal for support from relevant stakeholders and bring quality expertise to Botswana,” he said.

Pascal said he hoped to make a stopover in Botswana when he travels to South Africa for the ninth edition of the ABF championships to be hosted there in 2017.

The BBF might also get a short in the arm as Pascal promised to appeal to the Youth Commission of the world bridge governing body World Bridge Federation (WBF) to finance development of young bridge players back home.

In an interview ABF Director of Operations Waleed El-Menyawi also commended the young Botswana team and encouraged that they engage in a lot of game time. He said despite a sloppy start to the games the team displayed moments of brilliance on the bidding table against seasoned teams.

BBF president, Letsogile Mafa concurred that Botswana had been lacking on the technical part. He said their intention five years ago was to have a g youth structure and they had since surpassed that objective.

He embraced plans by ABF to assist Botswana technically. Mafa said he intended that by the end of his tenure in 2018, Botswana should have produced a team that would compete regionally, continentally and globally.

BBF had initiatives such as schools tournaments and monthly open tournaments. They have also trained a number of primary school teachers with an effort to introduce the game at primary school level.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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