Hayling Island Bowls Club’s ‘beautiful’ new £160,000 all-weather surface will ‘benefit the community’
Hayling Island Bowls Club are finally heading into the 21st century with a major new development.
That's the view of club treasurer Martin Hopper, who says all involved at Hayling are excited to see the new all-weather pitch installed at the site.
Work has now begun on putting down an artificial surface and implementing floodlights at the Station Road venue.
The project, which is totalling £160,000, has been heavily backed by Sport England who have provided just under half of the funding towards the development.
Hopper revealed the club first enquired about replacing their grass lawn for an all-weather surface in February 2018.
Now, after lengthy discussions and planning needing to be passed, the club are on their way to an exciting future.
Hopper said: 'We’re very excited about it - it’s been three years in the coming.
‘The trouble with grass is it’s very difficult for less able people and children to bowl on it because it’s a much different surface.
‘Artificial and carpet surfaces require less physical effort so it’s a more subtle form of bowls.
‘For a lot of our older bowlers it will extend their bowling life.
‘It’s a big investment by all concerned but it will benefit the community.
‘It’s a beautiful new facility and it’ll give the club the opportunity to welcome people of all abilities to come and have a go.
‘It’s a great opportunity for the club and it’ll bring us into the 21st century, really.
‘If you look around the borough now there are only a few places who have still got them (grass lawns).
‘Denmead have got them but they come under Winchester, Purbrook has got grass and so have Emsworth, but all the other clubs in Havant Borough now - including ours - will have artificial.'
Work is scheduled to take between eight to 10 weeks to complete with Hopper hopeful of a return by mid-September.
Presently, Hayling Island BC are playing all home fixtures at Leigh Park Bowls Club.