4 Jun 2015
Sports minister, Tracey Crouch MP, has today spoken of the benefits of playing bridge.
When asked by fellow MP Bob Blackman for an update regarding the status of bridge, and other mind sports, as sports, she replied “I recognise that many of these games are enjoyed by many people and that the mental agility required in this activity can help with conditions and bring many health and wellbeing benefits". She added that approaches for funding support could therefore be made to the departments of education or health.
The Judicial Review into Sport England's refusal to recognise bridge as a sport is scheduled for 22nd - 23rd September. A summary of the arguments for a reversal of their position can be seen in the EBU Press Release
Bridge has again been in the headlines recently, with reports in the national media on the case involving the EBU, Sport England, and whether ‘bridge is a sport’.
In the most recent hearing Mr Justice Mostyn ruled that a judicial review could be undertaken against Sport England’s refusal to recognise bridge as a sport. This is a first step in the legal process to have Sport England recognise bridge as a sport, so whilst it is not a definitive decision in itself it is an important and positive step towards a favourable ruling and a reversal of Sport England’s position.
The EBU hopes that a favourable outcome will be to the benefit of its members, but also to all current, and potential, bridge players in the country, and to society as a whole. We hope that irrespective of personal opinion of what constitutes a ‘sport’, all members will appreciate the inconsistencies in Sport England’s position, and that the benefits of playing bridge deserve the greater exposure that a change in their stance could generate.
Read More on the EBU Website
At their recent meeting the Warwickshire Executive Committee endorsed the EBU Board's decision to seek a Judicial Review, and wished them every success.
How can we help?
Given that bridge is currently in the public’s thoughts we encourage members to contact their local media, or local MP (perhaps after May 7th), and extol the virtues of bridge. You need not address the issue of whether it is, or is not, a sport – that is something which will ultimately hinge on a legal ruling – but please explain why it is such a worthwhile pursuit and should get the greater prominence and funding which the status of ‘sport’ would allow it to receive. Any positive response which your contribution receives may aid the EBU’s case, but more significantly will increase interest in bridge in the Warwickshire area.