With the days becoming longer and a feel of Spring around the corner we can start looking forward, hopefully, to a full season of bowling.
The Green looks in excellent fettle for the time of year thanks to the excellent efforts of the Green Team, but the weather over the next few months will be crucial as to just how good it will be for opening day, which I’m pleased to announce will be at 6pm on Friday 15th April. Hopefully, many members will come down to stretch their arm for a few ends, to have a drink, enter comps, put names down on team availability sheets and to generally catch-up. They can then book roll-ups for the long weekend and beyond.
If you enjoy the outdoor life and feel you have skills or enthusiasm that could be put to good use helping to maintain the green or to improve the outdoor environment of the club then please come forward, your help will be very gratefully received.
The committee have also been busy behind the scenes preparing for the season ahead. Stuart has been very active over the Winter preparing a very full fixture list, all of which can now be found on the website under their different categories. (look under the ‘members’ tab). The first Men’s Tea and Biscuit fixtures for Teams A & B commence as early as 19th April, the first women’s fixture is a S&D rink match at home to North End on 4th May and the Friendly season commences on 30th April with an away game at Wroughton. The Captains of all teams will hope to have far too many names on the availability sheets for each of these and all other games which will follow thick and fast.
Phil our new Club Competitions organiser has revised the competitions this year and we are delighted to report that for the first time ever men and women are able to enter exactly the same number of comps should they wish. This is a result of making the following changes;
Mens Over 60 Singles is now renamed the ‘Open Over 55 Singles’Mens Handicap Singles is now renamed the ‘Open Handicap Singles’The Men’s and Ladies Triples (Ladies triples has not taken place for several years due to a lack of entries) is now the ‘Mixed Triples’And finally the Ladies Plate and Men’s Sportsman (open to those not having previously won a singles comp) have been combined to become the ‘Open Plate Singles’
Details of how and when entries can be made will be available soon. A £1 entry fee per competition will be reinstated this year to help cover the cost of engraving and replacing some trophies. Members will be made aware of when various rounds will be played, some are on set dates and members should therefore only enter if they can make these and of course the date on which finals will take place.
We are also pleased to confirm that the club internal leagues will run again this year. Paul Barrow has kindly agreed to run the Midweek Evening League and Stuart assisted by John Spencer will co-ordinate the Friday Afternoon League. Whilst League tables are produced for these the emphasis is first and foremost on enjoyment and player development. If not already there, sign on sheets will appear outside of the changing rooms very soon for these.
With so many games this year it would be great to see the bar open whenever play is on the green. However, members cannot expect this always to be someone else’s job. It would be great if as many people as possible could learn the basics of opening the bar so that even if they only ever volunteer when they and their friends are playing then at least this will be less occasions when the very small band of regular volunteers have to do it. Sadly, if more people don’t come forward it will be inevitable that the bar will remain closed on occasions this year. Please let me or Maggie know if you can help and we will set up a short training session prior to the new season.
The committee are currently looking to secure sponsorship from local businesses and interested parties for the coming season, if you have any connections which we might be able to talk to please let me know. It is an expensive business to run a bowls club and in an effort to keep subscriptions to a reasonable level it is imperative we find alternative methods of raising funds.
Sadly, there will be no Presentation Event for last seasons Club Competitions. It was not possible for the last Committee to organise this for the end of last season and whilst Gordon Pearce tried manfully to get an evening arranged for this month, lack of numbers due to concerns around Covid meant that the decision had to be made to cancel it. The Committee are determined however to ensure competition finalists are properly recognised at the end of this season and have provisionally earmarked November 12th for our celebration event.
Look out for the email from Jo Hicks if you need to order any club shirts, jackets etc for the new season. We hope all members will respect the club dress code this year for all games including League fixtures, Club competitions and Internal events.
Hopefully, I will see some of you at the up and coming Socials, if not look out for more news about the coming season in the weeks ahead, keep safe and we’ll be back on the green under the sun before we know it.