ONLY a handful of organisations can boast they've managed to continue uninterrupted through harsh COVID-19 restrictions, but the Nambucca Valley Bridge Club (NVBC) are among the few.
Through a mix of luck, and hard work, the local card group have been able to roll with the punches and keep playing throughout COVID-19, albeit with some new measures in place.
To add to their good fortune, the Nambucca Valley Council recently awarded NVBC a $2000 grant, which they plan to use for a free bridge training program.
"The council put out the call for expressions of interest, and we were lucky enough to apply and get one of the Bushfire Recovery Grants," newly elected club president Leonie Harrison said.
"We wanted to do something for the community and introduce more people to the great, and often exciting game of bridge.
"It's a fun game, with strategy, and has a heavy element of social interaction, which is excellent for people who might not get to go out much anymore.
"Friendships are often struck between games."
The bridge training program will allow 20 people to sign up for six free lessons, which also comes with a textbook, course materials, 12 months membership in the NVBC and six vouchers that can be used at the club.
For more information or sign up, contact Program Presenter, John Slade on 0407-457-351 or email email@example.com.
If enough people show an interest, Leonie says the club might consider running another training course in the future.
NVBC has previously held similar training programs, but at the cost of a few hundred dollars.
"The current program is limited to 20 people, but if we get enough interest in the community, we might look to rerun a course like this," she said.
Bridge, is a card game using a standard 52-card deck, and played by four players in two competing partnerships.
The game has a reputation as a pastime aimed exclusively at older people, but Leonie insists that everyone can, and should play.
"Bridge is not just for older and retired people; it's a fun game that all ages can enjoy," she said.
"It keeps your brain active, promotes social interaction, and improves memory and concentration."
Researchers have found a raft of health benefits connected to mentally stimulating games.
A 2000 University of California study found strong evidence that an area in the brain used in playing bridge stimulates the immune system.
The Nambucca Valley Bridge Club has just under 100 members, but new players are always welcome.
The club host several games a week at their purpose-built clubhouse at the E.J. Biffin Playing Fields in Nambucca Heads.
For more information on upcoming games, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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