- Sport England grant aids bowling club during coronavirus lockdown
- Quote: ‘Crown green bowls – despite of its image – is a unique sport that caters all ages. Our youngest bowler is nine, and have active bowling members in their 70s and 80s’
By Andrew Atkinson
County bowls Castle Sports and Social Club in Northwich are currently undertaking a new overhaul at the venue amid the coronavirus lockdown with the help of a £5,460 grant from Sport England.
“Club secretary Alan Baskerville applied for a grant from Sport England in December and we have been successful with this application,” said David O’Brien, bowls secretary.
The inauguration to upgrade and extend the facilities were discussed at the bowls annual meeting in January, 2020.
In March 2020 the first COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“We needed to start raising our own funds – we couldn’t keep relying on the main club to make this investment,” said O’Brien.
“It was agreed to increase our match subscriptions by 50p per game. We have 14 active teams and this would have raised in the region of £1,500 per season.
“The pandemic affected crown green bowls – like all other sports – and in 2020 there was no local league bowling,” said O’Brien.
“During the first lockdown a group of members started to undertake small improvements. With no funds from member subscriptions, due to being no league bowling, we started a bowls development fund,” he said.
O’Brien, also successful in applying for a £400 grant from his employers Heineken, said: “The Bowls Fund was launched in March last year and raised over £3,300.
“The Covid-19 crisis has affected all walks of life, but also given us an opportunity to invest in our facilities.
“It will give our members a nicer environment and hopefully a bright future, when the world returns to some kind of normality.
“We have demolished the stand to the side of Green 1 and looking to develop an outside drinking area for members which will also serve as a viewing area for bowls.
“The Bowls Fund has allowed us to place an order for a new bowls hut, which will be a major upgrade,” said O’Brien.
“With the grants and members’ efforts we have passed the £9k mark for fundraising,” said O’Brien.
“Crown green bowls – despite of its image – is a unique sport that caters all ages. Our youngest bowler is nine, and have active bowling members in their 70s and 80s,” added O’Brien.
Demolished stand to the side of Green 1.