Greenlands Bowls Club was host to the Opening Ceremony of the 23rd National Bowls Championships, sponsored once again by leading insurer Línea Directa.

Taking place in beautiful sunshine representatives of the 20 or more competing clubs were all resplendent in their club colours, as they paraded in front of a healthy and supportive crowd, at a venue decked out with National and Regional flags.

The ceremony was attended by senior representatives of the National Bowls Federation as well as Línea Directa, who had travelled down to the event from Madrid, and a number of other local sponsors.

Following the parade of clubs, umpires and Spanish International players, Spain National Director, Bob Donnelly, welcomed the bowlers and all of the guests and spectators to the championships. He gave particular thanks to the tournament sponsors Línea Directa who were supporting the championships for the second year. He said how delighted he was to have such a major international company endorsing the 2017 tournament and hoped the relationship would continue in future years.

He also thanked the sponsors of the individual disciplines, Greengauge Surfaces, Avalon Funeral Plans, Seagate Wealth Management, CS Bowlswear and Quirónsalud Healthcare as well as the two host clubs, Greenlands and Quesada BC as well as the Leader Newspaper, all of which were making a significant contribution to the success of the tournament.

Patricia responded on behalf of Línea Directa by wishing all of the competitor’s success in their efforts, as everybody looked ahead to yet another successful tournament.

Following the National Anthem John Muldoon, now the proprietor of Quesada Bowls Club and himself a former National Director, then handed over the bowling green to the tournament committee on behalf of the owners after which a number of the sponsors delivered the opening bowls.

Players, spectators and sponsors then retired for refreshments following which the first competitive action of the tournament got underway with the mixed triples event.

Now, at least for the successful competitors there follows an arduous two weeks of bowling, while for those not so lucky there is always the opportunity to renew old acquaintanceships and to make new friends.

The tournament runs until 21st May at Greenlands Bowls Club. Entry is absolutely free with matches starting at 10am. It then switches to Quesada Bowls Club on the 22nd May where it remains through to the finals, presentations and the closing ceremony in 2 weeks’ time on 27th May.

The two Blue Ribbon events, the Gents and the Ladies Singles, get underway on Thursday with Martin Foulcer and Anne Eagle both hoping to retain their National titles.