Innovative programs boost Mansfield BC
Situated in the picturesque town of Mansfield two and a half hours north-east of Melbourne, the Mansfield Bowls Club is thriving.
With around 90 members, the club is taking bowls to new audiences in the community, while also offering a different spin on pennant for its loyal members.
Mansfield BC walks us through The Rookies Program, and the At Home Pennant Program, of which the club is justifiably proud.
The Rookies Program , which occurs during Daylight Saving Time, is a good source of new members.
It is very popular with younger people in the local community as they have a lot of fun. This program is held of a Monday evening from 7pm. We have 16 teams of three people – male, female or mixed – playing in a weekly draw.
Teams are drawn from individuals responding to local advertisements, or from our contact with schools and businesses. The teams play 12 ends with a break for food we provide at 8pm. Cost to players is $12 a head, plus money they spend at the bar or on raffle tickets.
We offer free coaching and provide club-owned bowls. A ladder is maintained, with teams playing off for trophies and their names on a shield. Some teams are extremely competitive while others play for enjoyment.
We find this program is not only a potential source of new members, but also a joy to run as it is a very happy social event, and a great way to promote lawn bowls!
At Home Pennant Program happens during the mid-week Pennant season.
This was started when the need arose to provide ongoing team competition for those unable to play in the away Pennant competition – both men and women.
Due to the distance Mansfield players have to travel for any sport, there are those who prefer to play their sport closer to home.
New club members, older players and others, find their competitive needs in lawn bowls are met through the At Home Pennant Program.
This also is used to help beginners learn the etiquette and rules of the game by playing with former pennant players, as well as by wearing a bowls uniform.
There are eight teams of four players who enjoy playing in a round-robin competition for the season. Teams are awarded points for each game and these are tabulated for all to see.
At the end of the season the best four teams play off for the final and the top two receive trophies at presentation night.
The members of the top team also have their names inscribed on a special shield. There is also a Most Valuable Player award chosen each week.
As well as being a way that older players and others can enjoy competition without the travel each week, the laughter and obvious enjoyment by the players is great to see and a real bonus for the Mansfield Bowls Club!
You can find your way to Mansfield Bowls Club here
For more stories on lighthouse clubs showing the way in Victorian bowls, click here.