Page 0058

58 English Bridge October 2019 www.ebu.co.uk

O

xfordshire's Kim Hudson recently

returned from Norway where she was

representing the England U16 Bridge

team in the European Youth Bridge

Championships. The team of six youth players

battled against 17 other European countries to

return home with the Bronze medal.

Kim started playing bridge at an after-school

club run by local Faringdon bridge player Mike

Fletcher. Her interest continued after the school

club ended, playing with her grandparents on an

infrequent basis as a

relaxed fun activity. Then

at the end of the summer

last year Kim attended the

Junior Teach-In Bridge

event with the aim of

playing some fun bridge -

and maybe learning a

thing or two. The TeachIn

event is open to every

youth player, encouraging

children who have never

played before, all the way

up to international level.

It was at this event that

Kim was spotted by the

England U16 coach,

Georgio Provenza, who

invited her to attend the next England coaching

session.

With the session going well Kim was invited to

join the larger England U16 squad of 20 players.

Even at this stage the squad knew that only six

players would be selected to go to the European

Championships in July, which were only 10

months away. The challenge was on, and with

training online every Monday evening and four

training weekends remaining before the European

team selection, Kim had great opportunities to

learn from some of the best coaches in England.

Progress was good and Kim was selected as part

of an eight player team to play in the Youth World

Online Championships that started in March. Run

over several months in a league of 18 teams, the

EBED NEWS

England U16 team had some great results and at

the end of the league stage topped the league

having won every match. Unfortunately in June

they lost their 100% record and were eliminated in

the knockout stage.

All attention was now on the European Youth

Bridge Championship and Kim was selected along

with her bridge partner Theo Sinclair and her team

mates Henry Rose, Jasmine Bakhshi, Jamie Fegarty

and Dido Coley. The four day event was action

packed; going into the final day of the tournament

England were in 4th

position but an excellent

set of results and winning

all of their games secured

a well-deserved Bronze

medal. The England U21

team also performed well

in their league, coming

home with the Bronze

medal.

Now that the European

competition is over, five

of the six members of the

U16 team will be moving

up to the U21 squad. The

hunt has already started

for their replacements

and the drive towards the World Youth

Championships next year. With the rise of Kim

from being completely unknown and playing

casual bridge with her grandparents to England

International Youth Player in a whirlwind 10

month period, the England coaching staff are

hunting for 'the next Kim Hudson'.

The next Bridge Teach-In event has just taken

place - see report on page 60. It is a great fun event

for complete novices, or those with all ranges of

bridge experience, and takes place once a year. The

Oxford Bridge Club (England U16's Henry Rose's

home club) also has a youth section which plays on

Sunday afternoons. And Kim's local Faringdon

Bridge Club has been hugely supportive - a lovely

place to enjoy bridge once you have learnt the

ropes. Kim tries to attend whenever possible.

WHO'S THE NEXT GREAT BRIDGE HOPE?

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