A grant of $80,000 has recently been approved by NZCT towards a new all-weather bowling green at the Otaki Bowling Club.
The current green at the club is over fifteen years old. Wear and tear have taken a toll on the surface, meaning play on the green is impacted. To ensure that the green and the club’s facilities can be used all year round, the club needs to install a new all-weather bowling green. It is a vital project that needs to be completed if the Otaki Bowling Club is to survive.
Club Board Member Peter Whitehead emphasises the significance of the project by saying, “Without a new green the Otaki Bowling Club would eventually be forced to close. This would be a real loss to Otaki and its residents. This grant from NZCT is a life line.”
The revamped all-weather green will enable play during the winter and allow for all year-round coaching for new and existing members. It will also provide a number of other benefits as Peter explains, “The improved surface will enable us to attract new members and continue to grow our active role in the broader community. It will attract other bowling clubs to play in our sponsored galas, which will further help finance the day to day running and maintenance of the green and club facilities.”
Although lawn bowling nationwide is in decline it is still a popular sport in the Kapiti-Horowhenua region. The club is blessed with a group of forward-thinking members who are looking and developing ways of attracting new people to the sport. One such initiative is ‘business house bowls’ which gives working professionals an opportunity to come along one evening a week and bowl.
The club’s facilities are widely used by other groups in the community. The grant from NZCT will mean the club will continue to provide a facility for other community groups such as pétanque, indoor bowls, card schools and karate, as well as local special events.
Although the NZCT grant is a significant one, a total of $110,000 remains to be raised to fully fund the new green. Fundraising has become a focus for the club to ensure its survival. “Some of the remaining funding will come out of the day to day running costs provided by membership fees, running galas, raffles, bar takings and the hire of the facilities,” says Peter. “The club is also approaching local businesses for sponsorship and completing further grant applications.”