MEMBERS of a bowling club are celebrating after receiving a huge grant to upgrade their pitch.
Cowplain Bowls Club, in Padnell Road recreation ground, Cowplain, has been successful in bidding for £75,000 from Sport England to convert its bowling green into an all-weather surface.
The work to turn the grass green into an all-weather lawn will begin in the spring of next year and should be ready for the start of the bowling season in April.
It will mean keen members will be able to play all year round, encouraging a larger membership for the club.
People with disabilities and local schools will be encouraged to use the new facilities.
Peter Crowley, who is leading the project for Cowplain Bowls Club, said: ‘Since the bowls club opened in 1989 we have seen many members come and go.
‘Some founder members are still bowling, some have qualified for the national championships, others are happy to bowl only at a local level but all enjoy the camaraderie of the green.
‘In this, our 25th anniversary year, we have been fortunate to have won the chance of reinvigorating our club, bringing in new members from different walks of life and finding new challenges along the way.’
Havant Borough Council will oversee the work, which will cost £95,000 in total.
It is being done by contractor Dales.
The club will be contributing £20,000 from its funds.
Councillor Yvonne Weeks, responsible for economy and communities at Havant Borough Council, said: ‘This funding from Sport England is fantastic for Cowplain Bowls Club.
‘It will not only allow them to play all year round, but will enable others to enjoy the game too.’
Doctors and health professionals recommend playing bowls, particularly for older people, as it provides a number of health benefits, including fitness, coordination and skill development.
The club is a good way to meet new friends and build confidence and self-esteem for people who are isolated.
Contact Cowplain Bowls Club on (023) 9224 1852