Bowlers team up to keep going
Bowlers have high hopes a merger will bring new life to their clubs.
The Mt Albert and Sandringham bowling clubs have joined forces to increase membership, cut costs and provide stronger competitions.
Members of both clubs voted to amalgamate in November and will continue to operate separately until the end of May.
Sandringham member Frank Ryan says working together will strengthen both clubs.
The 82-year-old is the former mayor of Mt Albert and has a long history with the suburb. He has been a member of Sandringham Bowling Club for about 40 years.
‘‘My family grew up here and I had some wonderful support from the public. I love it here.
‘‘Change is always hard but I’m delighted at how it’s been done. The amalgama- tion will benefit players from both clubs.’’
Mr Ryan was part of the team with Sandringham bowlers Ken Gibson and Ceri John who came from behind to win the Championship Triples at Mt Albert in January. The team’s combined age was 202.
The life member and longstanding patron of the club helped put together the new constitution for the amalgamated clubs.
Joining forces will mean even stronger competition, he says.
‘‘Bowls has been a life-long game for me. My biggest hope is that more people will consider joining bowls. It’s becoming a young man’s game – but us older guys have still got it too.’’
The amalgamated club will eventually be based at Sandringham and the Mt Albert premises will be sold, Sandringham president Ceri John says.
The greens at Sandringham have been in poor condition for more than five years and members have been unable to play on them for about 18 months. They were used last week for the first time since renovations began.
It has been a hard time for the club to gain new members and stay financially stable, Mr John says.
Sandringham treasurer and secretary Pat Mcquoid says it was a tough decision but a worthwhile one for both clubs.
‘‘Every club is facing the same challenges - the whole lot. We just felt that by adding the two clubs together we were saving two clubs that could otherwise go down the drain.’’
Strong support: Sandringham Bowling Club patron Frank Ryan says a merger with Mt Albert will strengthen both clubs.
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