Traralgon See Value Going Under Cover
When Traralgon Bowls Club decided it was time to upgrade their facilities, one thing soon became clear – they weren’t going to take any half-measures. The end result, the club developed a superb new indoor arena and playing green, and recently hosted some of the state’s leading bowlers at its second consecutive Men’s Region Sides tournament.
In short, the upfront investment has already gone a long way towards paying back both Traralgon Bowls Club and the local community.
“Originally we had a synthetic surface there and after about 12 years we decided we had to replace it, but then we thought if we’re going to do something big then let’s investigate it properly,” explains Traralgon Bowls Club Chairman, Graham Cross.
“We visited numerous renovated venues around Victoria and Tasmania to ask the same question: ‘What would you do differently if you had the chance?’ They all said they would fully enclose the space. We took that advice seriously, came up with an idea, and talked to our building consultants about what we wanted to achieve,” Graham says. “They were able to incorporate the viewing area, the function centre and a completely enclosed indoor arena all in one. The price was right so away we went, and now we’ve got this magnificent facility.”
Hosting major events
It’s the kind of facility that attracts major events and impresses bowlers at every level.
“We’ve got quite a progressive club and we figured we need to be hosting major events here to showcase bowls not only to benefit our club but for other clubs in the region as well,” Graham says.
“The 2019 Men’s Region Sides was a huge success. Our viewing area upstairs and the seating areas underneath were both full to capacity. We filled the indoor centre; the whole place was packed out. All the spectators loved the event, and everyone appreciated the electronic scoreboards,” he says.
“If you’ve got good weather you can play outside, but at this time of year in Victoria you can’t do much about the changing conditions. Undercover facilities are a good start, but this indoor centre really proved itself that weekend.”
And to top it all off, the competition was as stellar as the venue. “You couldn’t have written a better script for the final, which came down to the last bowl on the last end to keep everybody on their seats.”
Everyone involved with Traralgon Bowls Club shared the positive sentiment. “As soon as we told the club members, we were going to host the event here, they wanted to put their names down on the list of volunteers. Our club members and visiting bowlers were absolutely stoked about the quality of bowlers they had the opportunity to watch play,” Graham says.
Aside from the obvious short-term advantages of a superior, competition-grade facility, what are some of the long-term advantages of this development?
“We believe there can be a genuine flow-on effect from our efforts. If people are coming down our way on holidays to places like Lakes Entrance, they’ll bring their bowls with them and know they can enjoy an indoor green during inclement weather, as well as three beautiful outdoor greens,” Graham says. “Our new indoor green encourages bowlers from all around the area to come and play on a quality surface, even in the middle of winter when the greens at their local club might be closed.”
Graham added: “We’ve made a big investment by doing this because we want to see bowls succeed in Australia, in Victoria, and of course in our own Traralgon and Greater Gippsland community. The economic benefits of hosting important events like the Men’s Region Sides can be enormous for our region, local bowls clubs, and many businesses in the accommodation, tourism and hospitality sectors. Anything we can do to benefit the region is fantastic.”
Graham has one final message: “If anybody wants to run another major bowls event, we’re ready, able and excited to do it!”
Want to know more about Traralgon Bowls Club? Visit the club website here.