By Ramona Mandy

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When the Covid-19 virus came to visit and we found ourselves with pandemic restrictions, it meant we couldn’t visit and socialise with others in the face-to-face way we used to. BCA responded very quickly by establishing various peer support groups for members, where they could meet in Zoom and discuss topics of common interest. True or false, one of those peer support groups is BCA Trivia? I’m pleased to say you get a point if you said “True”. Did you know that the Penrith Panthers were the 2021 National Rugby League champions? Do you know that in Norse mythology, Fafnir is a dragon? Do you know that Arborio and Basmati are types of rice? These are the things you might learn at trivia, but the answer is that it does not matter at all if you do not know these things. What I do want you to know is that BCA Trivia continues to run and is alive and well, even though we as a society are able to get out and about now to many in-person events.

Sadly, I have heard people say they aren’t brainy enough to play trivia. You don’t need to be smart to play trivia. Playing trivia is all about seeing if you know the answers to a lot of unimportant facts. It is unimportant if you can’t answer them. What is important is the fun you can have and the extra value that comes from playing. Everyone has some degree of general knowledge. If you have happened to have read the book, or know the song, or have travelled to the place that features in the question and can answer the question correctly, then sure, you can help win a point for your team. However, I’ve seen a number of other benefits come from joining trivia.

I’ve been attending the group almost since its start in 2020, and it’s proven to be much more than just another great social option. I’ve seen real peer support from the kind and generous BCA membership.

Players have been helped to get to know each other. Players are put into teams of two to five people and when you must work as a team, then you naturally talk with each other. You get to know who’s interested in the field of sport, or music, or cooking or geography, for example. Whilst much of the hour is aimed at answering questions, it is a relaxed atmosphere and there is a bit of chat and so we get to know people, their personalities and their stories. It’s been lovely learning about other BCA members that I didn’t know.

Often teams need captains. This is a person who is nominated to make the final decision of an answer to put up where there might be some debate or indecision from the team members. The captain can also rally the team to work together and make sure everyone has input. I’ve seen people grow in confidence when they have tried captaining a few times. Some are reluctant to captain as they are nervous, but when they see how supportive others are, they give it a go and are usually pretty happy to give it another go twice and thrice over.

The support for each other is what has really struck me as a big positive. Whether you accidentally answer for a team other than your own – I’m guilty as charged – or you have called it for your team and the answer is wrong, it isn’t something that matters. There is no judgement, just friendly competition and lots of learning about things that you may never have to ever call on again, unless you need to know that dogs are banned in Antarctica or that the aorta is the largest artery in the human body.

We’re in need of more hosts though. There are different ways to collate and deliver questions and hosts have the freedom to design how the session is run and choose the topics or themes they use. Even if someone wanted to do a once-off hosting, just to try it on, that would be welcomed. If anyone would like to consider hosting, please speak to Layal Hage at BCA.

We have new BCA members join trivia all the time. Some stay as repeat offenders, and some come along occasionally. Everyone is welcomed. You get to play with different people at different times. There is no set team allocation. Different hosts have their different styles, and it is a fun way to spend one hour on a Saturday night. Whether it is a confidence boost, a good laugh, an addition of a fun fact to your repertoire or just a chance to find out that you knew more than you thought you did, you’ll get something out of coming along to Trivia.

So whatta ya know: BCA Trivia thrives beyond lockdowns!

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