IT was a glorious day for bowling – and to unveil a world-class sporting facility that will provide endless hours of fun for all ages.
The sun shone as more than 100 people turned out to Cowplain Bowls Club to see the official unveiling of its new green.
Around £95,000 was spent on removing the top 2ft of turf and replacing it with an artificial, all-weather surface.
The new green was opened by the Mayor of Havant borough, Marjorie Smallcorn, who tried her hand at bowling and impressed everyone with her skill.
Honor Plowright, club captain, said: ‘The mayor put up two woods and the first one was very close to the jack.
‘We invited her to join the club. She took a membership form away with her!’
Representatives from most of the bowling clubs in the Portsmouth district attended the ceremony, as well as children from Padnell Junior School.
And there was Robert Paxton, the world no 4 at indoor bowls, Ian Blackmore, from the British Wheelchair Bowling Association, and Melina Greensmith, from Sport England.
Mrs Plowright believes Cowplain may well have one of the best all-weather bowling greens in the country.
It has been tested at 400 spots to make sure it is completely flat.
‘Everybody was amazed with the green,’ she said.
‘Mr Blackmore was impressed with it and is hoping to bring a team at some stage to bowl here.’
The work was carried out by Dales Sports Surfaces and largely funded by a £75,000 grant from Sport England.
There is also now a bowling ‘buggy’ so that people with disabilities can play.
Mrs Plowright said bowling was on the up.
‘There used to be the feeling it was only old people in hats and jackets,’ she said.
‘But it’s a sport. We are in the Commonwealth Games now. It’s a sport for all from the age of six to 96.’
The community is being invited to bowling taster sessions at an open day on Saturday, May 9 from 10.30am to 4pm.