Home' Bowls NSW : April 2010 Contents 18 BOWLS NSW -- APRIL 2010
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Distressed by letter
SIR: I was distressed after reading a letter from
my friend, Tony Cahill, in the March issue of the
Tony obviously had been told to reply to what
was printed under my by-line in the February issue.
What a pity, after being held over for a very
long time, my story had to be altered by someone
who changed its meaning before it was published.
My story had been made to read: "Closure of
the green would mean there would be only five
instead of a total of nine at the three clubs: Park
Beach (3), Coffs Ex-Services (0), West Coffs (2).
My story, a copy which now I have in front of
me, said: "The loss of another tift dwarf green in
Coffs Harbour would mean that there would be only
five instead of a total of nine at the three clubs:
Park Beach (3), Coffs Ex-Services (0), West Coffs (2).
The 'subject' of the sentence is tift dwarf, and it
is a fact that Coffs Ex-Services does not have any
tift dwarf greens, only carpet surfaces.
I believe there would be no doubt in the mind
of any normal reader that my story with its normal
style of introducing its subject matter in the open-
ing par, was about the loss of another tift dwarf
green in Coffs Harbour and why this was to occur.
Carpet greens were not mentioned.
Tony and I had a very amiable chat on the phone,
and I am pleased he knew what I meant, and was
man enough to intimate this in his letter.
But, as we both know, in the print, radio and
magazine business there's never any shortage of
armchair critics capable of reading into a story
what they want to read, rather than what is there
to be read.
Bowls all going one way
SIR: What has happened to bowls? In 25 years of
bowling I've seen bowls (the game) go just one way.
It started with narrow bias bowls, then coloured
shirts and bowls stickers.
I ponder a return to the collar and tie as the moths
get better mileage from my blazer now than I do.
Now its coloured clothing head to toe, rainbow
bowls and "Hollywood" bowlers chasing bowls down
the green, high-fiving their team mates as the spec-
tators clap, cheer and roar with each good bowl.
What ever happened to a quiet Saturday after-
noon on the green with the chaps, a civil tip of
the lid from the skip for a good bowl, without a
word needing to be said?
Moreover, we've got school kids invading our
greens on Wednesdays all throughout the year.
They asked me to help, but I can think of other
things I'd rather do than introducing a bunch of
kids to our game.
Gosh, One of our upstart juniors jumped from
Grade 5 to Grade 1 in his second season. So much
for serving your apprenticeship as lead for 5 years.
With all that experience the kid made a clean
sweep in the Zone juniors titles and plays in the
Zone A side. Well at least I can try out for the
A group of our cheery enthusiastic members
formed a recruitment committee that holds Open
Days, attracting all sorts to try bowls, at my club.
They've got these all sorts to Open Days because
they handed flyers out at nearby train stations and
bus stops on weekday mornings.
Now we have more younger working members,
both men and women. And now our coach is hold-
ing coaching lessons on Saturday mornings, not just
for the new members, but the general public via
our Community College.
And would you believe it, these people are paying
more for a 6 week bowls course, than they would
if they joined the club (and got their coaching for
What has happened to an introduction from a
member, then joining the club's waiting list before
I don't know what has happened to women's
bowls, either! Now even more young couples come
through our doors, trying bowls, and they want to
learn and play the game together.
They changed things a while back so women
now play bowls with the fellas on a Saturday, but
their numbers keep growing.
And these working women want to play competi-
tions on Saturdays, because they can't play women's
pennant or championships, all because they work,
so now they take more of our rinks on Saturdays.
I remember appreciating one team being spread
across the green, but now we'll have to squeeze up.
Worse, still things keep going one way: A bunch
of "conspiring" members with just a few years
under their belts are organising a women's inter-
club league on Saturdays, to play at the same time
as our pennants.
This will just fill up our greens even more and
the club will be madhouse after the game. I'll
have to wait longer in the queues at the bar, and
I'll have less chance of winning the raffle with all
those extra tickets sold.
When I raised my concerns with our President,
I find, not only is he one of the conspirators, he's
leading the charge to organise the Saturday women's
He tells me, "Its the future for our game as we
move towards unification".
I protest that "providing weekend women's com-
petitions encourages working women to join and
learn bowls, and then there will be even more of
them on our greens on Saturdays".
The President just smiled back at me and said,
"I hope you are right, because we want things to
keep going one way. And the only way is up".
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