Meet our two new Victorian bowls clubs
Victorian bowls welcomes two new clubs into the fold in 2016-17 – Churchill Bowls Club and Royal Melbourne Golf Club BC.
Churchill Bowls Club
It’s taken nearly a decade for Churchill Bowls Club to become a reality. Based in Gippsland’s Latrobe Valley, Churchill‘s journey towards a bowls green and club started in February, 2007.
A town meeting established there was a need and desire for a bowls club in a town which was originally built to house and service power station workers in the 1960s.
“Back then Churchill was a young town with young workers so there wasn’t really seen to be any need for a bowls club,” Churchill BC president Bill Brown says.
“But once people passed playing more robust sports, they thought it was about time for a bowling green in the town.”
The club started with a hall, and while plans to build an outdoor green were hatched, indoor bowls was played.
These days, carpet bowls is a town staple with 30 players taking part regularly on a Thursday night.
Now there’s a new outdoor green, opened in September 2016 with Latrobe City Council Mayor Michael Rossiter, Cr Darrell White, State Government local member Melina Bath, Bowls Victoria President John Fisher, and West Gippsland Bowls Division secretary Tony Colwell among those attending.
Churchill won’t play Pennant this season.
They still have some work to do on outdoor shelters and facilities before they enter what Bill hopes will be two Pennant sides in the West Gippsland Bowls Division competition next season.
“We anticipate in the next two weeks getting barefoot bowls going, as we want to get new people into the game.”
Royal Melbourne Golf Club BC
The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has played social bowls alongside golf at its Sandbelt Black Rock location in bayside Melbourne since the 1930s.
But a wish by the Club to boost bowls participation has resulted in the club affiliating with Bowls Victoria ahead of this season, and signing up for Metro Pennant in 2016-17.
“It’s a very successful venture. We have attracted 23 members, and only three have previously played Pennant so we’re introducing 20 new players to Pennant bowls this year,” club spokesman Rob Nethercote says.
“In keeping with our status in the top 10 golf courses in the world and No.1 in Australia, we also have a quality bowls facility and it’s great that other club members will be able to enjoy it, as we do.
“We’ve been rated by Bowls Victoria as having an A surface so our green’s on a par with the best facilities in the BV community. I’d certainly be happy to play a final here.”
Dr Nethercote praises Bowls Victoria’s decision to allow dual registration for bowlers for Saturday and Midweek Pennant as being pivotal to allowing the birth of pennant bowls at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
Royal Melbourne has initially entered a single Midweek team in Division 4, with plans to add depending on how the bowls club develops.