Bowling Club in Jarrow bids for new blood to protect sport's future
Members of a South Tyneside bowling club are looking at ways to promote the sport - in a bid to raise cash to stop it from disappearing.
Jarrow Bowling Club, Jarrow Borough and Jarrow Vets clubs - which are based at the town’s West Park - fear the latest council funding cuts covering the upkeep of greens could see clubs struggle and eventually close.
Greens have been maintained by South Tyneside Council but that is set to stop by 2020 as cash to cover the costs reduces year on year - leaving members to part pay for the maintenance.
In a bid to stave off the threat, the three groups have launched a series of open days for the public and invited a visiting group from Scotland.
Members are also looking at ways of raise funds to enable them to buy their own lawn mower - a move already taken by Whitburn Bowling Club.
Treasurer Arthur Harrison, said: “If the greens get taken away, then there will be a lot of people left with nothing to do. It will end up costing the council more for care in the future.
“We do need to raise funds to help keep the greens open. If we don’t find the money then we will probably fold at the end of the day.
“We are looking at different ways to increase participation and increase membership. We will have another year where we will be able to access some funding then after that there will be nothing.”
There are currently around 70 members between the three groups who play regularly both home and away with Jarrow Borough playing within the park since the 1800s.
The club has also nurtured the talents of a number of bowlers who have gone on to play for England with Jarrow Borough members winning a number of championships.
“It is a fantastic sport. People think it’s just for old people. But you need to be quite flexible to play it and you also have to be fit and energetic.”
Alan Jobling, from Jarrow Borough Bowling Club said: “We are trying to raise the money to ensure the future of the club and the sport. We are hoping we will be able to buy our own lawn mower so we can look after the greens ourselves.
“There are so many benefits for the older generation. For people who are retired, it keeps them active and gives them a social life which helps to reduce isolation.”
For details on Jarrow Bowling Club, games and forthcoming open days, visit the club’s page on Facebook.