by BOWLS with JIM BRIGGINSHAW
THE first all-weather, fully-roofed club bowling green north of Newcastle is being built at Casino RSM.
Footings have been laid and it is expected to be completed by September.
A roof also is to be built over the centre double row in the car park.
The main structure will provide weather protection for bowlers using the first- class synthetic surface imported from Scotland to replace an earlier carpet and in use since February.
Casino RSM/NRDBA dual deputy president Bob Johnson says the driving force behind the roofing project has been club's men's president Gary Burt.
One of the district's long-time best bowlers, Burt is aware of the value of a green that can be used regardless of climatic conditions.
GOULBURN has withdrawn from New South Wales bowls to play with ACT. The Zone Five club says it has made the move because Bowls NSW's pennants restructuring meant long travel for the club.
"When Bowls NSW decided to rearrange how pennants competitions were structured, Goulburn teams were required to travel to Greater Western Sydney," says club president Reg Thoms.
Some of the round trips were more than 450km.
"We were unable to compete in pennants this year owing to our geographical situation," Thoms says.
"It would have been simply too tiring and dangerous to drive the distance, play a couple of very intense games, and drive home."
FORMER Zone One deputy president Greg Danvers has emailed us an item he posted on the Bowls Far North Coast Youth Academy Facebook page. It said in part: "Today I received advice from the Zone One Executive that they have, or will be advising Bowls NSW that Zone One will NOT be entering a team or part team for the NSW Junior seven-a-side inter-zone championships in Dubbo next month. This is now two years running that Zone One has not been prepared to enter a team in these championships.
"I resigned as Zone One vice-president last month over another issue with regard to developmental support for the youth in our region. I find it completely untenable to continue in any role for the zone and regretfully advise that as of today I will no longer be your co-ordinator for the FNC Youth Academy. Hopefully someone from within will stand up and take over the running of your academy. Whether the zone will support your academy, I am not convinced."
AT ALSTONVILLE for a game while visiting his brothers who live in the area was Des Train of the Hunter Valley club Denman. It didn't take the locals long to note his ability on the bowling green.
Without knowing he'd ever done it, I asked him when he'd last won his club's major singles championship.
"A fortnight ago," he said.
Sometimes when you see a bloke bowl you just know he's a champion.
QUALIFYING rounds of this year's popular state-wide Rookies' competition will be held next month. The singles will be at Alstonville, Grafton District and Cabarita Beach clubs on August 12-13. The pairs will be at the same venues on August 26-27.
Section winners in the singles will play off at Ballina RSL on September 2 with pairs the next day. Zone winners will move to Raymond Terrace with pairs on October 7 and singles on October 8.
TO PROVIDE for the upsurge in demand for senior living units, a retirement developer is reported to be seeking "under-utilised assets in the suburbs, including bowls clubs and sporting fields".
The Queensland company recently acquired the Maroochydore Swans bowling club site and industry sources indicate a memorandum of understanding had been signed with a Brisbane bowls club and golf clubs at Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.
The company is negotiating to buy two sites in suburban Sydney for retirement living projects. It predicts a 36% increase in the 65-plus age group over the next decade.
MY VIEW: On roofed greens
RAIN, hail or shine, Casino RSM will be able to use its under-cover green. The club is to be commended for its foresight in providing the means to play, whatever the weather is doing.
The financial value of being able to do this is shown by the loss to district clubs of considerable income from green fees because greens were made unplayable by recent downpours over a long period.
An added advantage of a roofed green is protection from the heat. Heat stroke is a real danger in summer and many older bowlers aren't prepared to risk playing in soaring temperatures.
A roof over such a large area as a bowling green is a costly project but its advantages are many.
Casino RSM has assumed a leading role in local bowls. Top bowlers flocked there this year and the club's pennants performance was record-breaking. With 100 points on offer, it scored an incredible 98 for the season. Next best, Ballina, had 64.
Now, with its roofed green the first of its kind on the Northern Rivers, the club is providing a major attraction for more players.