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All comments by Samantha Punch
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Thanks so much for all the Keep Bridge Alive donations so far. We're still keen to get the global number of supporters to over 400 so please do join the campaign - every dollar counts! We're also looking for players and organisations/clubs from more countries to get involved.

Check out my Facebook page for photos and videos of KBA in the USA. I'll be posting more videos and photos from Memphis over the next few weeks (also on twitter - @soc_of_bridge and Instagram under my name). Your support is hugely appreciated.
April 6
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In case people are curious about my motivations - I'm just keen to combine my skills as a sociologist with my passion for bridge. My intention is that by conducting and publishing research on bridge , we will then translate the findings into accessible resources and practical follow-on projects which will make a difference to the future of the bridge community. My selfish motive - work will be more enjoyable until I retire as I'll be researching the game I love, interviewing players and working with others across the world who are keen to make a difference to the bridge world.
March 25
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Other posts do detail this - a survey with 7000 bridge players of all skill levels using the same questions as 10,000 non Bridge players and 52 in depth interviews on average two hours in length with top US, UK and some European players. I'm in Memphis trying to promote the Keep Bridge Alive campaign and attending the KBA stall when I can, as well as play a bit of Bridge, so apologies for lack of further details for now
March 25
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I have already carried out the fieldwork for two studies. For one project a large part of the analysis has been completed and for the other study preliminary analysis indicates that this is what the data will be able to demonstrate. Much work has already been done which is why the research does not require so much additional funding at this stage because it is the remainder of the analysis, the literature reviews, the theoretical and conceptual development and the writing up that needs to be completed and paid for, as well as translating the findings into accessible resources.

I have already been working on these largely unfunded projects for 3 years (mostly in my own time alongside my previous research and teaching commitments). This is why the University of Stirling has set up the Crowdfunder to speed up the process of being able to publish the findings and start to establish the new academic field of the Sociology of Bridge (see my previous posts for more details). This is also why I have decided to change my previous research interests from the Sociology of Childhood, Youth and Family to the Sociology of Bridge so that from now on I can use my work time to continue these projects rather than doing them as a ‘hobby’ or a side project.

However I still have teaching commitments as well as supervise PhD students so I need to pay researchers to work with me as a team to get the work done. The money raised is to pay them, not for my time, nor administrative or overhead costs, which is why it is extremely good value and cost effective research as the University of Stirling is supporting the establishment of this innovative field.
March 25
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Here is helpful. The crowdfund page will be temporary just for the fundraising campaign.
March 22
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http://greatbridgelinks.com/how-one-campaign-intends-to-transform-the-game-of-bridge/

Also some people have been asking whether the University of Stirling is a charity - it is, and the Charity Number is SC011159. The University of Stirling can accept charitable donations to KBA via cheques or bank transfers (including international) and I can email you details or please contact alumni@stir.ac.uk. The University would then put your contribution into the Crowdfund KBA campaign.

I can also send a University donation form (including gift aid for those in the UK), and for those in the US contact alumni@stir.ac.uk about the tax efficient way of making a donation.

The crowdfunder accepts all credit cards and converts the amount in pounds to your national currency. I'm afraid we are able to accept your money from across the world in a variety of ways! So please don't delay and help us pass the 50% mark - thanks so much to all who have donated so far to keeping bridge alive!
March 19
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http://greatbridgelinks.com/how-one-campaign-intends-to-transform-the-game-of-bridge/

Also some people have been asking whether the University of Stirling is a charity - it is, and the Charity Number is SC011159. The University of Stirling can accept charitable donations to KBA via cheques or bank transfers (including international) and I can email you details or please contact alumni@stir.ac.uk. The University would then put your contribution into the Crowdfund KBA campaign.

I can also send a University donation form (including gift aid for those in the UK), and for those in the US contact alumni@stir.ac.uk about the tax efficient way of making a donation.

The crowdfunder accepts all credit cards and converts the amount in pounds to your national currency. I'm afraid we are able to accept your money from across the world in a variety of ways! So please don't delay and help us pass the 50% mark - thanks so much to all who have donated so far to keeping bridge alive!
March 19
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During the Spring National in Memphis the focus of the social media materials will be on US players or those who play regularly at the nationals. We also have some short KBA videos available via links to YouTube which Chris Hasney kindly set up for us - see for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWfi-YlpvGs&t=17s

We used Canva to produce some of the materials but as I've said before, the quality of the work we've been able to do has been limited without funding as I'm relying on volunteers and my own limited creative/technical skills and equipment. I also should say that it has been extremely time-consuming - far more work than I ever anticipated.

We also used traditional approaches, and KBA has found that a multi-faceted approach has been useful - including hard copies of posters, leaflets (posted out to bridge clubs and electronic copies circulated widely), informal talks and formal presentations, face-to-face promotion, and even university lectures to students.

In Memphis I'll have a KBA stand so please stop by and make a connection. I'd love to hear what people are doing to promote bridge and the challenges encountered, plus your views of ways forward. Any help promoting the campaign throughout North America (to bridge clubs and other players) would also be hugely appreciated - thanks!
March 18
Samantha Punch edited this comment March 18
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We have experimented with social media for the Keep Bridge Alive initiative but here the purpose was to fundraise amongst the bridge community so it has been about raising awareness of KBA within the bridge world rather than promoting bridge generally (which will be the work we will do if the campaign meets its target). However it does show what might be possible and has had a certain degree of success so far as KBA is finally starting to go global - players from 24 countries around the world have contributed up until now (and we're hoping to expand on that!).

Over the past few months we have created KBA materials on why players think we should keep bridge alive (videos, bridge encounter images and player star profiles). Some were based on interviews I've conducted and some were created specifically for KBA at bridge events I attended recently in the UK and Portugal. I am posting these everyday on social media throughout the campaign (on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
March 18
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Yes please do, that would be great.
March 15
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I'd love to have the references for the papers you mention. Our literature searches across disciplines have found very little robust academic evidence on the benefits of bridge which is published using rigorous methodology.

There is quite a lot of anecdotal evidence or some work based on pilot studies which did not complete the full research. Please do alert me to any we may have missed.

Apart from Scott and Godbey's work from the early 1990s, we haven't found anything in sociology at all.
March 15
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If KBA is lucky enough to exceed its target then we would like to conduct a three year study which demonstrates the wide range of skills that children develop when learning bridge. This could include randomised control trials at different schools as well as interviews with children, teachers and parents to explore their perspectives of the impacts of bridge.

Fingers crossed for KBA, and then we could combine forces to work on this. Match-funding is possible for PhD research which is another great way of getting high quality research conducted at a very reasonable cost - so a doctoral study could be funded from various sources.
March 15
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I should also add that all the KBA materials that are appearing on social media throughout the campaign (on FB, Twitter and Instagram) have been produced by a handful of volunteers without any funding. Imagine what we could do with funding!

Many thanks to Zoe Russell, Kevin Judge, Natasha Graham, Chris Hasney, Ashley Rogers, Elizabeth Graham, Stephen Peterkin and Jessica Punch for each of their KBA contributions including name design, campaign event ideas, production of videos and images. KBA couldn't have got this far without you (and only 3 of them are bridge players!). Thanks also to the players for participating in the KBA photos and videos.
March 15
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What is the average age of bridge players in the US?
March 14
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Whilst people interpret the KBA name in different ways, I think it is not helpful to over-focus on the term rather than on the intended outcome of what is trying to be achieved by this global campaign (see my replies to Rosalind Hengeveld and Mike Whitman above).

KBA is about raising funds to promote the benefits of bridge and develop innovative and collaborative approaches to attracting new players to our game (including targeted resources aimed at children, young people, families as well as policy-makers, employers and teachers).

Keep Bridge Alive is about taking action to share best practice, pool resources and develop an evidence base to increase participation in the bridge world. This an excellent opportunity to do something different and create momentum for change within and beyond the bridge community.
March 14
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And of course KBA fits nicely with David Burn's addition: ‘If you Keep Bridge Alive, it will do the same for you’.

I am an academic and it is not easy for me to ask for money, but I wholeheartedly believe in this campaign and what it could achieve globally for bridge.

The more players, clubs and organisations we have on board that contribute to the campaign, the more weight will be given to future work. It is really important that the bridge world supports the Keep Bridge Alive Crowdfunder, otherwise it will be extremely difficult to convince non-bridge players that it is a worthwhile initiative!

Please consider making a donation to #KBA - thanks. All contributions are hugely appreciated and will make a difference to the future of the global bridge community.
March 14
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I know the name isn’t everyone’s favourite, although I do think it might grow on you as I find it quite positive and refreshing! One thing to bear in mind is that the name was developed primarily to fund raise amongst the bridge community rather than raise the profile more broadly in society.

If the bridge world doesn’t like the KBA name, then we can come up with something more positive for future work to sell bridge beyond the bridge community. So all suggestions are welcomed! However I still think it is catchy and emphasises the life of the community as well as the potential for greater sustainability.

We have time to get the name right, the first step is to raise the funds so that the work can be done. Without the published evidence of the benefits of bridge, we are not in a sturdy position to re-brand and grow the bridge population.

To shift the image of bridge, we need to promote what bridge offers players of all ages, and we need more than anecdotal evidence to convince governments, schools, universities and employers to consider investing in bridge (as some of them do in chess where benefits are academically proven).
March 14
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In 1974 there were 249 bridge clubs and 10,500 bridge players in Scotland, today despite an increase in the general Scottish population, there are only 120 clubs and 5,800 registered members. I'm sure we're not alone in struggling to expand our bridge clubs.

Keep Bridge Alive has been initiated in Stirling in Scotland where a local club Alva recently closed and the nearby, once vibrant, club of Falkirk is on the brink of closure - it used to fill two rooms with bridge players, now it has just two tables.

See my response to Rosalind Hengeveld above as to why the name was considered appropriate for a Crowdfund campaign. A different name could be used if the campaign is successful - but we need the bridge crowd to support it otherwise the ‘Keep Bridge Alive’ project dies…
March 14
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I agree with this as the limited profile of bridge strongly underpins the rationale for the Keep Bridge Alive campaign. I am teaching the Sociology of Bridge in one of my undergraduate modules (on Place, Belonging and Identity) at the University of Stirling in the UK. When I asked the 60 students (mostly around 21 years old) if they had heard of bridge before my lectures, only one had! To me, that is shocking and would not be the same if I asked about chess.

We need to make bridge popular again and could start by raising its profile more widely in society. The Keep Bridge Alive project is about producing the evidence of the wide range of benefits of bridge for players of all ages and those messages can then be transmitted broadly.

So it would be great if the bridge crowd supported this global initiative by making a donation to sponsor the future of the bridge community:
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/u5c0e5e7810869
March 14
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Great thoughts so far.

If anyone's interested in listening to some info about the global Keep Bridge Alive campaign, it appears at the start of the latest episode of The Bridge Zone (New Zealand Bridge radio show):

www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=0d10062e-06df-4b10-aa08-2be0888209f4
March 13
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