Harry van Peppel: students are the best ambassadors of bridge

EUSA bridge delegate Harry van Peppel truly believes bridge will gradually be better known among university communities and the Budapest event will perfectly serve this aim.


The number of universities participating at the EUSA Bridge Championship to be held in Budapest from 24th to 28th July has nearly double in comparison with the figure seen in 2017. What can this rise be attributed to?

In my opinion an important reason is the period in which the championship is played. The last championships we played was in September/October 2017 and that is a period for the students, I think,  after the vacation period,  they concentrate fully on their studies and find it harder to free up time  for  this championship. The distance to and accessibility of Budapest by car will also play a role in the decision to participate for some teams and it is of course a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with this beautiful city.


Regarding all the card games, what makes bridge a different one?

Bridge is played all over the world according to the same rules. These rules are complicated and to be able to play bridge properly requires study and coordination with your partner. Bridge has unlimited possibilities and every new board is a new challenge to achieve the best result together with your partner. Bridge is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an official sport. The number of members of the World Bridge Federation is currently 116 National Bridge Organizations with 1.000.000 affiliated members who participate actively in competitive bridge events at local, national and international level.


In an earlier interview, you mentioned that playing bridge requires not only mental but physical stamina. What do you mean by that?

It is believed that bridge enhances team spirit, socialisation, the development of mental abilities and helps the brain to stay young and healthy. In addition, you must have a good physical condition, energy en endurance. Eight hours of playing bridge for several consecutive days is not only a great effort mentally but also physically. For example, during this championship, participants will play around 200 boards in three and a half days. Mens sana in corpore sano!


In what ways do you think the upcoming EUSA Bridge Championship in Budapest will contribute to popularising bridge in general?

First of all, a perfect and successful championship that everyone can look back with great satisfaction. It will also be a very enriching experience for the participants. I hope this championship will also contribute to further awareness of the bridge sport among students and Universities in Europe and that more and more universities will realise bridge has added value and that it is therefore valuable to send teams to the EUSA Bridge Championships in the future. However, the best ambassadors for the bridge sport are the participating students and I wish them every success here in Budapest.