Bridge helps centenarian stay youthful

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CHALLENGE: Edna Segers says bridge is a bit part of her life.
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Edna Segers believes her passion for bridge has helped keep her young and healthy.

The Ashburton great grandmother, who turned 100 recently, is a longtime member of the Ashburton Bridge Club.

Members held a celebratory afternoon tea last week after one of their regular weekly games.

Edna said bridge stimulated her mind.

‘‘I love the company for one thing, and it’s a challenge for someone my age. It’s good to be able to do it still,’’ she said.

‘‘You go and meet the people, the bridge players, come out of your little nest and be with other people, which I think is good for you.’’

After blowing out the candles on her birthday cake at the celebration, where about 50 fellow players were gathered, she thanked everyone and said ‘‘Bridge is a big part of my life. I enjoy all the times good and bad’’.

In terms of what she thought was the secret to a long life, she told The Ashburton Courier ‘‘I think it’s just luck.’’

And just as the game of life involved luck, so did the game of bridge, although skill was more important.

‘‘Skill would be the most important thing. Once you get playing you want to do your best for your partner,’’ Edna said of the game, which in its basic format involves four players in two competing partnerships.

Club president Michael Holdaway said Edna was a good player.

She had been a member of the club for at least 30 years. She had made a name for herself in the club’s sessions, winning the Ashburton Handicap Trophy in 1991 and the Eileen Willoughby Plate in 2001.

Edna was the only centenarian in the club, but among an ‘‘extremely prestigious group’’, as there had been others in the past.

Edna celebrates her 100th birthday with fellow bridge club members.

The club started in 1962. He agreed with Edna bridge was good for the brain.

‘‘It’s the best card game in the world,’’ he said. ‘‘I think it hooks you in.’’

The Ashburton club, with 130 members, had its own club rooms on Alford Forest Rd. Members played four times each week, on one afternoon and three evenings. Lessons under way had 24 people enrolled.

‘‘We are all here to win, but it’s social at the same time. If you have a terrible game, you just laugh it off and try again next time,’’ Holdaway said.