By Emma Wolff
For the past 32 years, Bridge on Shea has provided a fun environment for bridge enthusiasts and novices alike to come together and compete, bond, and share a passion for the game. However, due to COVID-19, last year the group had to close its doors for the first time in three decades. Luckily Bridge on Shea, located at 7000 E. Shea Boulevard, recently opened back up and the organization’s members are excited to welcome back its participants.
In an effort to adapt to a socially-distanced way of life, Bridge on Shea moved its games online. Though it was not exactly the same, it was an innovative way to stay active as a club. Many participants had never played an online game of bridge, but quickly learned in order to keep their skills sharp while waiting for Bridge on Shea to reopen in person.
“Many of our regular members were excited to jump online to play bridge, but didn’t know how to and were challenged with the technology,” says Liz Erling, the director of Bridge on Shea. “We went to members’ houses to help set them up and we loaned laptops to anyone who needed them. Although there was a bit of a learning curve, everyone did so well with the online platform and it was a great way to stay connected as a group.”
Now that vaccinations are more readily available, Bridge on Shea decided to open up for in person games and lessons. They offer lessons for all skills levels and ages. Beginning, intermediate and advanced courses are taught by world champions and are a great way to meet bridge players at comparable skill levels. There are free half hour lessons on Mondays for anyone interested in learning more about the game of bridge. And, live games are played weekly Monday through Friday. Beginner lessons start on June 23.
Bridge on Shea will be taking COVID-19 precautions to protect participants and staff while games and lessons are in session. In order to enter the building, you must provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Tables will also be spaced apart in order to social distance and there will be sanitizing stations throughout the complex.
“We are thrilled to get back to in person games,” says Suzzette Wynn, the manager of Bridge on Shea. “We missed our friends so much during quarantine. You don’t realize how much you care for this community until you are pulled away from it. This is much more than just a club; it is a family.”
Bridge on Shea is eager to welcome anyone to join the club. According to Wynn, you don’t need to be a member to join, you just need to show up and have a willingness to learn. “Whatever level or age you are, we want you to join this great community of ours. Even if you know nothing about the game, we will do everything in our power to help you learn and make sure you feel comfortable and welcomed,” adds Erling.