TOP TEAM: Evans Head bowlers Craig Wood and Stephen Clark reached the quarter-finals of the state pairs.
TOP TEAM: Evans Head bowlers Craig Wood and Stephen Clark reached the quarter-finals of the state pairs. Contributed

How an ice rink helped the Ballina bowlo

BALLINA Cherry Street's introduction of an ice skating rink in school holidays was a resounding success, according to club general manager Tere Sheehan.

Bowls Australia quotes Sheehan as saying the results were beyond the club's expectations.

Setting up the facility, including staff, cost $25,000 and ticket sales produced $67,000 over the 16-day school holiday period. Of the tickets sold, 34 per cent were to non-members of the club - 60 per cent of whom joined as social members.

"We wanted to introduce something different to the local community that was family friendly while showcasing our club and the recent renovations," Sheehan said. "We viewed the ice skating rink as a perfect way of achieving this. The results spoke for themselves."

Bowls Australia said the Ballina club had demonstrated "just one of many unique ways your club can become a destination for children and families, with long-lasting returns".


Renovation rescue

CLARENCE River district match committee at its annual greens inspection found Wooli club's greens "resembled cow paddocks", according to an online report by Zone One publicity officer Judith Tuckey.

"The committee were taken aback," the report says.

To the rescue came Yamba greenkeeper Graeme Brown. The "very tired mower" was put back into top working order and Wooli was advised on renovations and improvements the club should undertake to return its green to a standard the district expected for its competitions.

Nearby club Brooms Head's greenkeeper Blair Littlechild undertook to visit Wooli regularly to support its volunteers.

Wooli followed the recommendations and outlaid the necessary funds.

"Wooli bowling club is now the very proud owners of a green that can match any club in the district," the report says.



CLARENCE River district association's efforts to ensure greens are of a standard suitable for its pennants and other competitive play have brought results.

Its finding that Wooli had greens 'like cow paddocks' brought about a quick remedy. The assistance Wooli received showed how other clubs are willing and anxious to help with such problems.

Many clubs find that a qualified greenkeeper's salary is a strain on finances and replace him with untrained volunteers. Their efforts are commendable but inevitably the greens suffer.

Bowlers are unforgiving when a green doesn't run as they think it should. They are likely to seek a better situation at another club. It's a Catch 22 situation - a club can use volunteer greenkeepers and lose bowlers; or it can keep a greenkeeper and find his salary is a burden to carry.

The answer, of course, is the artificial green. But clubs that are feeling the pinch so much that they resort to using volunteers, find that the cost of the ersatz surface is beyond them.


Convoluted story

"BUNFIGHT at the bowlo: How one woman got banned from the greens". That's the heading on a story in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The story starts: "It began with a quarrel over dirty cutlery and recycled coleslaw and turned into the legal stoush. If the shenanigans at Nambour Bowls Club are any indication, we're not always a nation of good sports."

It then goes to great length - so long in fact that readers must wonder the purpose behind the article being given so much space - to tell how a woman was banned from the Sunshine Coast club.

Here's an instance of the over-long, flowery report: "Robyn and Nev live in a single-storey, brick veneer home in a former pineapple farming district called Woombye, on the edge of Nambour."

Sounds like the lead-in to a Mills and Boon novel. What the hell has it to do with a woman being "barred from the club, prevented from even setting foot on the premises"?

The main thrust, lost among the verbiage, was the woman had appealed to the women's district association, the men's district association, Bowls Queensland and Bowls Australia before taking the matter to the Supreme Court of Queensland.

It must have been a bad news day for the Herald to give this as much coverage as it would to an upheaval in the Trump camp. Or it was it an ill-disguised attempt by the writer to make our game look ridiculous?


Vague meaning

I'M sick of hearing about bullying. We've got to the stage where we're not sure any more what bullying is.

Bowls Queensland president Peter Williamson has gone into print saying "bullying is not to be tolerated in our sport".

"It is well to remember we all want to enjoy the physical and social benefits our great sport affords," Williamson says in Queensland Bowler. "I ask all to think before they act."

As happens in parliamentary circles he gives no instance of the bullying. It's just one of those vague references that are made.

The next time that big bully in the next rink says something you don't like, pack up your Henselites, pick up your spat dummy, and go home.


Fair effort

EVANS Head's Craig Wood and Stephen Clark made it through to the quarter-finals of the state pairs at Ettalong. After winning their first outing by a mammoth 22-9 against a Merimbula team they went down 19-11 to the Walcha reps in the quarter.

In the fours championships the Ocean Shores team of Andrew Montgomery, Terry Mason, Phillip Clark and Troy Makin was eliminated in the first round, losing 25-10 to a Penrith team.


Drought relief

WOMEN'S bowls is to the forefront in Bowls 4 Bales, the fundraiser that's helping drought-ravaged farmers. The state's list of clubs that have worked raising money includes South Grafton women.

"If a club has already conducted a fund-raiser, don't be afraid to hold another and help show the generosity and compassion of the bowls community," the state association says.