Researchers at the University of Stirling are using a classic card game to develop an academic discipline called the Sociology of Bridge.
The University is launching a ‘Keep Bridge Alive’ campaign on Tuesday 5 February to establish the new field of study, which explores how interactions within the mind sport of Bridge encourage wellbeing, healthy ageing and social connections.
It is hoped the research will highlight the benefits and skills that playing Bridge provides, including promoting focus and clear thinking, helping to alleviate stress and boosting self-esteem.
Professor Samantha Punch
Launching the crowdfunding campaign, Professor Samantha Punch said: “Bridge is rewarding in so many ways. As a partnership and team game, it facilitates communication and the development of social connections, as well as contributing to intergenerational community building.”
The University, together with English Bridge Education and Development (EBED) and the UK and Irish Bridge Unions, is currently funding PhD student Kevin Judge to develop a Sociology of Bridge and contribute to the sustainability of the game.
The money raised by the campaign will support two researchers to produce the evidence and resources needed to shift the image of Bridge as a game only for older people, increase participation and ensure the future sustainability of the game.
Campaigners are also keen to develop interdisciplinary and cross-cultural projects and to secure funding for a further two Bridge PhD students.