Has the day now come that bowl­ing’s fu­ture could be ruf­fled by a raf­fle?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - MIKE DE BRUYN

BOWLERS need to sup­port out­go­ing pres­i­dent Ser­gio Marti­nengo’s raf­fle (to raise much needed funds) if they want to see the ben­e­fits such as lower mem­ber­ship costs and bet­ter prize money for lo­cal com­pe­ti­tions.

If mem­bers do not sup­port it, trou­ble looms ahead. WP Bowls has banked on the raf- fle (R100 a ticket) be­ing a hit.

An­nual sub­scrip­tions have been low­ered for the first time in years to R100, the WPBA coaches levy per club set at R10 and the BSA subs will be R127 for the pe­riod Jan­uary – De­cem­ber 10.

It’s a cal­cu­lated gam­ble that, should it mis­fire, would place the gov­ern­ing body in a bit of a pickle.

Cash re­serves are low, mem­ber­ship, al­though hav­ing sta­bilised some­what in the last few months, is down to 3,711 – made up of 1,388 women and 2,323 men.

Bowlers have been re­minded of­ten of late about the ab­sent role they play in not grow­ing num­bers via in­tro­duc­ing friends to what is a re­laxed sport­ing code.

If they want to con­tinue to en­joy their sport for years to come, they had bet­ter come to the party, start­ing with an ac­tive role in sell­ing tick­ets and the likes.

So far, their re­ac­tions to what will surely be­come a re­al­ity – a dy­ing sport – have been snail-pace at best.

It’s of­ten the case of the odd mem­ber here and there in ev­ery club go­ing the ex­tra mile to sat­isfy and ac­com­mo­date the needs of the ma­jor­ity.

This can­not be al­lowed to con­tinue even though mem­bers are not re­quired to do any­thing other than pay for what they play for.

And is it not a case of too many clubs serv­ing too few mem­bers?

It has of­ten been stated in this col­umn that too many clubs can barely make ends meet. Yet we have the sce­nario where a hand­ful of clubs have far more mem­bers than is needed.

Why not a sit­u­a­tion where the lat­ter shed mem­ber­ship – where pos­si­ble and vi­able – to sus­tain the longevity of the for­mer?

Pinewood has mag­nif­i­cent fa­cil­i­ties yet faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture. How can that be?

Three and a half greens, a won­der­ful club­house, am­ple park­ing and a per­fectly situ- ated venue should make this club a thriv­ing en­tity.

Howard, down the road, could be a club to hand some sup­port to their strug­gling neigh­bours, but the chances of that are prob­a­bly nil.

Maybe some kind of amal­ga­ma­tion could save the day. Strug­gling clubs should band to­gether and see if there is action that can be un­der­taken to ad­dress this sad truth.

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