Big names sign up for bowls con­test

Rossendale Free Press - - What’s On - Ste­fan.ja­jecznyk@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @RossFreePress

STE­FAN JA­JECZNYK

AGROUP of am­bi­tious bowlers from the Val­ley are look­ing to ‘ cre­ate a legacy’ with a new bowl­ing tour­na­ment.

Or­gan­is­ers of the in­au­gu­ral ‘Sun­ny­bank Clas­sic’ are hop­ing to bring at­tract plenty of spec­ta­tors to en­joy a high stan­dard of crown green bowls over the sum­mer months.

The four-week tour­na­ment will be played in June at the newly-re­fur­bished bowl­ing green at the Sun­ny­bank So­cial Club on Helmshore Road in Helmshore.

De­spite their aim for a re­laxed feel to the tour­na­ment, the or­gan­is­ers have man­aged to at­tract some se­ri­ous names in the bowl­ing world.

Five-time Water­loo cham­pion and tele­vi­sion com­men­ta­tor Gary El­lis will be bowl­ing along­side Rawten­stall’s own for­merWater­loo winner Andy Cairns. ●● From left: Tour­na­ment or­gan­is­ers Paul Ben­ni­son, Chad Spros­ton, Andrew Billing­ton and Peter Mars­den

The com­pe­ti­tion cul­mi­nates in a grand fi­nals evening - with prizes and a tro­phy for the over­all winner.

Or­gan­is­ers that newly-in­stalled flood­lights will give the ear­lyevening games an ex­tra- say spe­cial at­mos­phere, while the stun­ning views of the Val­ley make Sun­ny­bank one of the most at­trac­tive places to bowl.

Re­tired-brewer Chad Spros­ton, a tour­na­ment or­gan­iser, says that the green at Sun­ny­bank is one of the best he has ever bowled on in over six decades of play­ing the game.

He said: “The green is one of the best in the league now and the ex­cit­ing thing is that it’s got one of the best views in Lan­cashire.

“The green and the grounds fell into dis­re­pair about four years ago, but since then over £1,000 has been spent on re­pairs.”

Chad, 70, and his col­leagues are look­ing to cre­ate a legacy and want to host a tour­na­ment that is at­trac­tive for play­ers and spec­ta­tors alike.

Chad, who lives on Hol­combe Road, says the tour­na­ment will fea­ture pro­fes­sional ref­er­ees and each player will have a specially-branded T-shirt to wear.

He even says there are plans to live-stream the tour­na­ment on­line for those who can­not watch in per­son.

He said: “This is go­ing to be the best tour­na­ment we’ve ever done. We’re go­ing to be start­ing the games at 6pm. I’d liken it to go­ing to an evening foot­ball match.”

Or­gan­is­ers are still hop­ing for more spon­sor­ship to help cover the costs of the tour­na­ment. Any­one in­ter­ested in spon­sor­ship should con­tact the club on 01706 216005. ●● The af­ter­math of the in­ci­dent at B&M Bar­gains

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