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PRESS RELEASE - 2005 World Youth Teams Championship


The Australian Bridge Federation has won the right to hold the 2005 World Youth Team Championship [WYTC] which will take place in August 2005 at Sydney Olympic Park.

Eighteen international teams will take part in this prestigious event with under 26 year old players coming from Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand.

WYTC are held every two years and were first held in 1987 in Amsterdam. Italy, Great Britain and the USA each have two wins while Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have one each.

Mr. David Stern of the Australian Bridge Federation says "Sydney has 70 of the 325 registered clubs throughout Australia so it was a logical choice for this World Championship". Also, the acceptance of bridge by the International Olympic Committee as a sport made the Sydney Olympic precinct a favourite with the Australian and World Bridge Federations.

Australia will hold their selection trials in Canberra in January 2005 where it is expected that more than 100 players of varying standards will battle for a spot on the 6 person Australian team. With the growing number of talented under 25 bridge players in Australia the competition promises to be very fierce and Australia stands a very good chance of doing extremely well in the World Championships.

Through participation in online bridge games, Australia boasts a growing community of young players all around the country. Gone are the days of bridge being perceived as an old people's game. Unlike most other competitive sports, players of all standards compete in open competitions with some of the best players in the world so our representative youth players often practice with our open representatives and thereby fine tune their skills.

With young players such as Agustin Madala of Argentina and Gavin Wolpert and Vince Demuy who have played in their National open teams, the Bello brothers from Italy and Joel Woodridge of the USA we expect to see a standard of competition rarely seen in Australia.

Bridge is the ultimate mind sport. It stimulates the logical side of the mind and according to recent research by Stanford University, reduces later risks of Alzheimer's disease. While bridge is a serious international game it transcends language and cultural barriers to bring together promising players from all parts of the world.

"Some of the world's most intriguing personalities are bridge devotees and include people such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Burns and Omar Sharif.

The WBF is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Association of IOC Recognized International Bridge Federations (ARISF) and the General Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF). Although a non-Olympic sport in the same category as Rugby, Chess, Golf, bridge intends to pursue the goal of being part of a new event "Intelimpic" together with the other mind and co-ordination sports.

Mr. Panos Gerontopoulos of the World Bridge Federation says the goal of the Olympic movement is to contribute to the building of a peaceful and better world.

"By educating people through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. The WBF, now an integral part of the Olympic Movement, will continue to strive for the attainment of the above goal, thereby bringing the great sport of bridge at the same level with those sports already admitted in the Olympic Games."

For further information or interviews with Mr. David Stern, please call 04-1111-1655

Additional Information
Dates 8th to 17th August 2005
Venue Sydney Showground Members Facilities
Accommodation Accor Ibis and Novotel Hotels

World Bridge Federation
President Jose Damiani
Youth Chairman Panos Gerontopoulos

Australian Bridge Federation
President Keith McDonald