Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Having my hands full!

It was middle of July, Canada Women’s Team just won their bi-country playoff against Mexico, earned the right to The World Championship. Pamela, Karen, Joan, Barbara, Kiz and Susan asked me to be their non-playing captain. I was honoured and happy to accept. Even since, I have had my hands full and been loving it!

This year the Venice Cup takes place from 30th August to 12th September in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Much earlier then previous years. That means we have less time to prepare for the championship.

There are practice matches to organize, training sessions to schedule. It is not that easy when one has to deal with three different times zones. Fortunately we have the excellent team of Beverly Kraft and Eric Kokish coaching us. Our system-convention cards to submit. The reading and analysis of all twenty-one countries’ convention cards so that our team will be prepared for any unusual methods they may throw our way. On a chance exchange with Joan, I discovered she too has been examining the convention cards. I am very grateful for her effort in completing this enormous task.

There is also air and ground travel to be arranged, hotel reservations to make. Have you ever tried talking English to a Portuguese speaking  hotel operator? The joy of applying for a travel visa. The Consulado-Geral Do Brasil moves to a different drummer.

On the fashion front, team uniforms to co-ordinate. Lucky for me, Pamela has been a great help. All I have to do is search the City of Vancouver to find a milky white jacket to match the women’s. We will be one of the smartly dressed teams at the opening ceremony.

The cost of this Championship is considerable, unfortunately for our team, funding from Canadian Bridge Federation is rather limited. There is the search for corporate sponsorships. The need to secure funding from different Clubs, Units, and Districts. Short of selling cookies, other fund raising activities. It is wonderful to have everyone on our team worked hard on this. There is a lot of work and also at the same time, rewarding.

We are grateful that Linda and Ray Lee of Master Point Press agreed to be our team sponsor. We are happy to be named Canada Master Point Press Women’s Team in the championship.

It is a week before we leave and most of the logistics are done!

However, most of my work is just beginning when my flight lands in Sao Paulo. There will be meetings to attend. Once the tournament starts, lineups to submit, scores to report, matches to record and hopefully no appeals committees to sit in.

From time to time, I will be called upon to make decisions and problem solve for the team. Contribute to team harmony and lift their spirits. Cheers!

My work is not done after the last match of the day. Check on dinner reservation-to keep our team fed and happy. When all have gone to bed, there is the small matter of writing a blog for all in Canada to follow.

Lucky for me, we have three very well established partnerships and they all respect and like each other. We will play our best and make Canada proud. I look forward to The Venice Cup in Sao Paulo with optimism.

Oh, I must not forget to file the captain’s report on return.

Yes, my hands will be full for some time to come. Ate Logo.


TomAugust 21st, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Mike. I always follow your blogs. Keep them coming and

Good luck and good times !!

Tom Cheng (鄭湯)

Susan CulhamAugust 21st, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Michael…really appreciate everything you are doing for us. So far you have surpassed my expectations of you as our captain. Susan

MichaelAugust 24th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

You are too kind Susan, as a wise man said “I can only lead horses to water….”

annaAugust 25th, 2009 at 7:51 am

Lot’s of work Michael, as I well know – but very satisfying I am sure. Have a good trip – see you in Brazil!


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