RSL FINDS A NEW HOME
Shepparton Park will be the new home of Shepparton RSL Bowls Club.
While both parties are yet to sign off on the specifics of the agreement, RSL is welcome to use the greens at the Kialla facility.
Shepparton RSL has until June 30 to use its old home at the site of the sub-branch on Wyndham St before the greens will be torn up to make way for more car parks.
But Shepparton Park secretary Bill Gullick said it would not be long before RSL bowlers would be using his club’s facilities.
‘‘I think it’s a 90 per cent certainty, both parties are keen,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s still progressing, but it’s going to happen. We’re getting an agreement written up, but it’s a fairly simple lease-type agreement to protect ourself and we’re just working through the wording.
‘‘We’re finalising the final details, but we’re very happy to have them, it’s an amicable relationship.’’
Shepparton RSL will maintain its identity, only using another green as a base rather than being forced to amalgamate.
The Parkers are no strangers to hosting the Rissoles on their greens, having shared with the club across a recent summer when RSL had its synthetic green redeveloped.
But this move is more permanent as the Shepparton RSL sub-branch announced in March that its green would make way for more car parks.
The sub-branch made the decision after Greater Shepparton City Council removed 72 car spaces to upgrade Welsford St.
With most clubs having their annual meetings in recent months, many committees changed personnel as Shepparton RSL looked for a home beyond June 30.
But Gullick said once the contract was signed, RSL members were free to use Park’s greens immediately.
‘‘The day it was in the newspaper that they had to get out of where they were, our chairman (Stan Hester) rang up their chairman (Gary Shadbolt) and made the offer of our facilities to them,’’ Gullick said.
‘‘As soon as we get the agreement done, hopefully in the next week or two, they will be coming to us.
‘‘There’s not much bowls at this time of the year, but once we get through to September and into October, as soon as we get this through they’re welcome to come down straight away if they want to.
‘‘They’re definitely keeping their own club and own identity and name and even putting a Shepp RSL bowls club sign alongside ours — it’s not a takeover, they’re standing on their own.’’
RSL played its last competitive tournament at its home greens on Anzac Day this year, with many Goulburn Valley bowlers keen to have a final roll on the greens that were established in 1979.
● In other Goulburn Valley bowls news, a uniform heat policy will take affect across the midweek competition as well as during Saturday’s matches next season.
Matches will be abandoned if 40°C or above is forecast the night before a game, with changes to the fixture also occurring.
Rather than the 18 rounds that were played last season, the association has adopted a format where each team will play 14 home-and-away matches.
One chapter closes, another opens: Shepparton RSL Bowls Club will be no more at its Wyndham St green from July 1, but Shepparton Park has offered its facilities to ensure the club can remain in the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division.