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The ISS Bridge Academy Tour – Next Stop France

16 hours (136 boards) of competitive bridge played in 4 days by the first team of Sonny, Sasha, Teddy and Norma. 13 hours (112 boards) by the younger Samui team comprising two sets of Thai sisters.

Absolutely no doubt that they put Samui on the Thai bridge map. The tour in fact had so many highlights – and the super Samui kids broke so many Bridge records!!

bridge-club-samui-1Their achievement and their potential should not be underestimated: it is almost certain that they will receive an invitation to travel to France next year to play against several French junior teams. This would provide a fascinating side event whilst the World Bridge Championships (Bermuda Bowl etc.) will take place in Lyon.  Potentially the Samui Bridge Academy could provide an entire Thailand team – and compete for the first time – in the under 16s category at the finals of the World Youth Teams Bridge event in 2020.

To achieve that goal, they need your help and support.  Firstly they need a sponsor to cover the prohibitive cost of their travel from the island to practise in the big competitions in Bangkok.  One thing I can promise a sponsor is that they will prove great ambassadors for the island.  The International School of Samui is currently developing a program for a number of Bridge Scholars where Thai students will be sponsored to join the school and in return represent the game of bridge at National and International levels under the guidance of the Samui Bridge Academy.

In order to help put the record straight and to prove that bridge players on Koh Samui have always had the full support of all the authorities, I plan to hold an open day in Maenam during the busy Walking Street festivities end November. Even the seven year old players will be there to demonstrate their skills and potential.

bridge-club-samui-2But let’s end this adventure on a high with a special mention for all the girls: Pae, Pin, Kafield, Kafair and Norma. Average age ten years. Two studying at St Joseph’s in Nathon and three at the International school in Bophut. All Thai and completely bi-lingual in Thai and English. And all, like the boys, brilliant at mental arithmetic which explains why they have made such rapid progress at the bridge table. As the photo shows, Khunying Chodchoy asked the Samui “FAB FIVE” girls to join her for lunch. This lady was recently the President of the Asia Pacific zone of the World Bridge Federation. Well qualified therefore at recognising bridge talent. And I can tell you that Khunying Chodchoy is likewise in no doubt that what I have predicted above could become reality for Samui’s youngsters.

Nothing is impossible and it is certainly not too late to join the party. If any other parents on the island would like their Thai children to have fun and give the game a try, call in to see me at the ACES bridge club any Thursday evening during Maenam’s Walking Street.  No requirement to learn English first as I can speak and read Thai – nid noy!!!

You can contact Trevor from the Aces Bridge Club by email at: trevorbellevue@fsmail.net

For more information about ISS and the Bridge scholarship program please go to: www.iss.ac.th or call 077 484548

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