In terms of projects, the first was Bridging Minds (the interviews with elite players) and the second was Bridging Wellbeing (the survey of 7,000 in partnership with EBED). Both of these studies, particularly the elite study, generated data on gender and bridge. With Liz Graham, a PhD researcher at the University of Stirling, we analysed the gender aspects of the interviews and she based her Masters thesis on that data.
We extended the gender work with an email questionnaire for both men and women focusing specifically on sexism in bridge. Working with me on that project was Ashley Rogers, then a Stirling PhD student and now a lecturer in criminology and criminal justice at Abertay University. Both of those datasets on gender have been analysed and we are now working on academic papers on Bridging Gender in mindsport.
In October 2018, after a long period of recruitment and publicity for the sociology of bridge doctorate, Kevin Judge joined the team as the PhD researcher. Around this time we started to develop ideas for the KBA fundraising campaign which we launched in February 2019.
Funding has been vital to the success of the project. At first I relied on volunteers and on PhD students paid by the hour to do small tasks, among them Zoe Russell. That was all I could afford. Zoe has been a BAMSA research assistant since 2017, initially helping to code, analyse and write up the data for Bridging Minds and producing many short videos for the KBA campaign. More recently (October 2020) we had success publishing the first BAMSA journal article together.
As the project attracted more money and became more successful, we could afford to employ a researcher on a more regular basis. The first person we appointed on a temporary three-month contract was Dr Miriam Snellgrove. In July 2019 the BAMSA team came together for the first time when Miriam, Zoe, Kevin and I presented four bridge papers at the Leisure Studies Association annual conference in Abertay.
Shortly after Miriam started her contract, more money became available. At last we had the funds to recruit a part-time researcher on a longer-term basis. At the end of the recruitment process, Miriam was the successful candidate and the first BAMSA research fellow. Her fixed term two-year contract to work three days a week started in November 2019.
John Matheson’s donation sowed the seed of Bridge: A MindSport for All