RSL FINDS A NEW HOME

Shepparton News - - SPORT - By LAU­REN BORDIN

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.

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