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SuperVets 2018

By John Aquino

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The Bridge Association in Western Australia recently ran a unique bridge tournament - a gold point event for players over 75 years of age! The event is sanctioned by the Australian Bridge Federation and is now in its seventh year.

The 'SuperVets 'Tournament was designed to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contribution that veteran bridge players have made to the game over a number of years.

In 2018 the number of entrants increased substantially from around 40 in recent years to 116.

The event was hosted at the wonderful club rooms of the WABC - a purpose-built venue for bridge. As competitors assembled for the match the excitement in the venue was palpable. By any estimate no one in the room could be regarded as a 'push over'. The field boasted at many Grand Masters and players who had reached Gold and Silver Life Master Status. It was truly awe inspiring to see a room full of veteran bridge players, horns locked in silent competition, cards held close to their chests, all vying for recognition of their bridge playing prowess.

For the first time the event was run as a 'swiss', with six rounds of seven board matches. Members from 14 Western Australian bridge clubs entered in the event. This included two non-metropolitan clubs where players had travelled to Perth from the country for the day long tournament. It is interesting to note that more than half the players were over the age of 80. (With four competitors over 90). The oldest player in the field was a few weeks shy of her 97th birthday!

Bridge is recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee. It is a game that engenders the following attributes and values common with other competitive sports - technique, competitive attitude, strategy, fair play, discipline, stamina, quick reflexes, rapport with your partner and concentration.

Contract bridge is an excellent gymnastic of the mind for men and women of all ages. Medical research in the United States has concluded that playing the game significantly lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and is even said to boost the immune system.

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The 2018 SuperVets Tournament Trophy was won by Jan Blight and Wendy Driscoll and presented by BAWA President Nigel Dutton and Tournament Organiser John Aquino.

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Runners up were Penny Styles and Ann Ohlsen.

Certificates of achievement were presented to:

Best non-medal performer over 90 years of age - Wyn Nordstrand
Best non-medal performers 85-90 - Charlie Lim / Lily Lim
Best non-medal performers 80-85 - Deborah Frankel / Deidre Greenfeld

After a very successful 2018 tournament, planning for the 2019 event is already underway. The event will be held on Sunday 10 November 2019 during WA Seniors Week. If you are eligible consider entering this blue-ribbon tournament and you will be assured of being part of a very special bridge event.


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