“Our friends wonder why we do this…” At the age of 14, they became the champions of Bridge, a game considered old-fashioned.

Retired game. Reserved for a social elite … Bridge’s reputation is not always glorious. However, this card game, quite complex it must be said, is intended to be renewed for several years. Two young women from Nantes explain this change he desires French Bridge Federation. At the age of 14, Ninon Pence and Yuli Boonen did not choose the easy path. But their logic and tactical sense make them stand out players. From the French Championship to the European Championship, they also won the Canal Cup with the French under-26 team on March 13.

A competition that brings together national youth bridge teams from four countries: France, England, the Netherlands and Belgium. Thus, they become the youngest French player to win this cup. “We were the youngest in the tournament,” said the duo, who have been performing at Habs for nearly three years. “All the other players were in their twenties at least,” the shocked duo explain.

A bottle of wine as a prize

Club partners in Atlantic Bridge Society (B2A) From Nantes, the two girls discovered this hobby, which is very popular in France (nearly 100,000 licensees, second in the world), through their two older siblings. “At first, I didn’t even realize there was a French bridge team!” says Ninon, who got started in card games through college. “You can’t start too early either, because that requires a very strong team spirit with your duo. It’s a two-player game that I really like,” Iolali adds.

Nantes Bridge – PA.Aubry / 20 minutes

The two women from Nantes are testament to the union’s desire to attract a new audience to this card game that requires logic, tactics and focus. Because it’s a fact: Bridge is widely practiced by people over the age of 60. “During certain tournaments, we play against grandfathers and grandmothers!”, Enjoy the young players. During its first tournament, the young team surprised everyone by winning the first prize: “We won a bottle of wine!”, They remember. The expected audience wasn’t actually an audience of two teenage girls. “Other players always ask us how old we are. They are often surprised to see us,” explains Ninun. As for their friends: “They wonder why we do this. Most of them do not know the bridge. »

“We have no plans to stop!”

For their part, Eulalie and Ninon made it a real passion. Like top-level athletes, they train every day to improve their playing tactics. Three online sessions a week, training with Group France every Friday, and two hours of play on Saturday mornings at the club. Not forgetting the weekend competitions…

Bridge, who dreams of becoming an Olympic sport, is now part of the daily lives of Ninon and Yulali. The two players are now preparing for the European Championship, which will be held next June in the Netherlands. The duo intends to continue their momentum. “Bridge, casually, liberate, don’t think of anything else when you play. And we have no plans to stop! Retirement is still far from the two women from Nantes.

The union focused on the youth

For several years, the French Bridge Federation has tried to attract a new audience. To make this game easier, I decided to turn to the younger ones. The bridge was initially considered a pastime of bourgeois families, and it tends to become more democratic. Internally, the consortium has set up a program to train more bridge trainers. Parallel to this democratic transition, a bridge was created in the schools. The French Bridge Union has also been renewed Agreement with National Education. Math teachers use the bridge in their lessons. Annas Faber, who is responsible for communications at the union, explains that we also set up introductory workshops with students in extracurricular times. If the average age of practitioners remains around 65, the Fed wants to work on this “generational link that is the bridge.”

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Tess Larson

<p class="sign">"Tv geek. Certified beer fanatic. Extreme zombie fan. Web aficionado. Food nerd. Coffee junkie."</p>

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