Bowling club hopes to encourage younger generation to join in after £30,000 funding for improvements

A BOWLING club is looking to inspire the younger generation to get involved after receiving funding of £30,000 to improve its facilities.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 12:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 6:14 pm
Waterlooville Bowling Club has been awarded a £30,000 grant from Hampshire County Council which they will use towards improving their facilities including the toilets and changing rooms. They are hoping to attract new members, especially younger members. Picture: Sarah Standing (230120-4296)

A grant was issued by Hampshire County Council for Waterlooville Bowling Club in Jubilee Park, which hopes to expand its facilities by building new toilets, extending the changing rooms and improving signage.

Club president Paul Buckley said: ‘We need facilities that will last for 20 or 30 years to keep the club going.’

The award came from the Recreation and Heritage Community Fund, with other projects across the county receiving funds including £8,700 for The Minstead Trust and £7,500 for the Warnford Village Hall Committee.

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Waterlooville Bowling Club has been awarded a £30,000 grant from Hampshire County Council which they will use towards improving their facilities including the toilets and changing rooms. They are hoping to attract new members, especially younger members. Picture: Sarah Standing (230120-5743)

Councillor Sean Woodward, executive member for recreation and heritage, said: ‘The county council’s contributions mean important improvements can be made to community buildings, equipment and facilities, which helps to ensure that the activities can take place in modern, fit for purpose and financially efficient buildings.’

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The bowling club, which was founded in 1933, is concentrating on attracting more members, especially for the juniors section, with efforts including taster sessions for Scouts, Guides and the Boys’ Brigade.

Paul said: ‘The problem with bowls is that people see it as an older people’s game which it’s not, there are plenty of young people playing it.’

Waterlooville Bowling Club has been awarded a £30,000 grant from Hampshire County Council which they will use towards improving their facilities including the toilets and changing rooms. They are hoping to attract new members, especially younger members. Pictured is: Derek Holt, secretary and Jackie Buckley, committee member, at Waterlooville Bowling Club. Picture: Sarah Standing (230120-5682)

They are currently standing at around 140 members, a vast increase from the 25 who founded the club, but there is still plenty of space for others to join in.

Paul has been a member for the past six years, and was encouraged to take part when he wandered past the hedge one day.

‘We were only encouraged to do it by the previous secretary of the club when we stopped to have a look through the fence,’ Paul told The News.

‘It takes something as small as that, because he put the time into coaching us and encouraging us.’

Waterlooville Bowling Club has been awarded a £30,000 grant from Hampshire County Council which they will use towards improving their facilities including the toilets and changing rooms. They are hoping to attract new members, especially younger members. Pictured is: Committee member Jackie Buckley in the changing rooms at Waterlooville Bowling Club which will be extended. Picture: Sarah Standing (230120-5698)

The artificial green means members can play outside all year round, and anyone is welcome to go along for a taster session.

Paul said: ‘If you have even thought about it, then come along and have a try.

‘It’s a good game because it’s not frenetic but it’s good exercise. Also it’s good mentally, you’re having to think all the time, it’s a cerebral game as well as a physical game.’