Manawatu Bowls News – Sept 26

Thanks to Tony for the latest news from around Manawatu’s Bowling Clubs:

Bowls like many sports and other organisations such as service clubs and even churches has to remain attractive to people as the battle for a slice of people’s leisure time continues.

Make no mistake it is a real battle as most households have two people in fulltime work and the days when Dad did what he liked while Mum looked after the kids are well and truly gone and a good thing too. It is good then that Bowls is promoting a National “have a go” day on 9 October and hopefully all the clubs in our area are participating and enter into the spirit of it. By that I mean let them have a decent roll-up without worrying about trying to coach them too much.

Participation should be the yardstick and there is no problem in Bowls that 20 new members in every Club won’t fix. Numbers mean turnover in income generating activities of clubs, more workers and more to participate in the social side of the game which when done right is like no other sport. I know my Club Johnston Park is actually running three open days and there is a permanent welcome mat for people to try the game with no obligation.

With this ongoing battle for a slice of people’s leisure time I was a little surprised at the tone of an article I read today in “Upshot” the official magazine of Bowls New Zealand. I refer to the article on Substitutes and Replacements on the “Focus on Umpiring” page. I was annoyed to read “Going on Holiday or going to family functions are not necessarily good reasons for Controlling Bodies to approve substitutes and replacements”. Well I say that is rubbish and is propagating an attitude that will keep people away from the game and our administrators need to lighten up.

Members will often play club championships before Christmas and the Champion of Champion event is not till April. In that time a player could have a myriad of other commitments come up. Using my recipe for peace of “Happy Wife, happy life” that state wouldn’t last long if bowls always came first.

• Himatangi is a club that seems to be finding a real niche in it’s community and I have even heard it referred to as the “heartbeat” of the community. They have succeeded in attracting younger players and included among those is Sophie Fisher who was half of a successful Palmerston North Secondary schools pair earlier this year and will represent Southern Zone at the National inter school tournament in Christchurch in December. The Club is supporting her with their hard work and wallets and $800 was raised towards her costs in a recent tournament. Our larger clubs could use such dedication.

• Palmerston North Bowling Club has entered the technological age with it’s own website which is managed by one of it’s younger brigade Ian Lewis. The aim of the site is to provide local and national updates, club history, sponsors and events. I’ve had a look and like what I’ve seen. Have a look at http://www.palmerstonnorthbowlingclub.wordpress.com and decide for yourselves.

• Keep the news coming to tony.jensen@aon.com.

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