Sunday, October 1, 2017

Inaugural Australia - Indonesia Youth Test Match

The Australian Bridge Federation is pleased to announce the establishment of an inaugural test match between Australia & Indonesia.

 A conversation late last October between Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, and Australian businessman Geoffrey Gold, a long-term resident of Indonesia, laid the beginnings of the inaugural Australia-Indonesia Youth Bridge Test Match. Geoffrey has initiated high profile sports diplomacy programs between Australia and Indonesia including Soccer, Basketball and AFL, and now Bridge.

 Geoffrey drew to the attention of the Ambassador the importance of Bridge in Indonesia, an observation he had initially made during visits to Jakarta by his son Leigh Gold, a top Victorian bridge player who was always warmly welcomed by Indonesia’s expert players. He was also aware that not only is Indonesia a regular finalist in major bridge tournaments, but its national organisation, Gabungan Bridge Seluruh Indonesia (GABSI), has always included very high profile community leaders, including Mr Wiranto, the current Security Coordinating Minister and a two-term President of GABSI.

Bridge is also one sport that can be played within the walls of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, although the match will be held as part of the Indonesian Open Tournament from 10 to 12 December 2017 at the Margo Hotel, Depok.

 Through Leigh, Geoffrey ascertained full support from ABF President, Bruce Neill, which accelerated the diplomatic interest. At the Ambassador’s request Geoffrey then prepared and delivered a detailed briefing on the sport in Indonesia and Australia and the two organisations, ABF and GABSI.

 The speed with which the first tournament has come together reflects the serendipity of its beginnings.

The Australian Youth Team will be: Renee Cooper – Francesca McGrath and Jamie Thompson - Matt Smith, and the Chef de Mission/Non Playing Captain will be Justine Beaumont.
The ABF are particularly grateful to Geoffrey Gold for his efforts in suggesting this match to the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, and to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta for providing funding and consular support for the Test Match.

 For further information on the inaugural test match, please contact Allison Stralow the ABF Secretary on 0403 153 823.

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