The Carrington Bowling Club greens have been dug up ahead of installaing of an all-weather surface. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

BOWLS

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Work is finally under way to install an all-weather bowling green at the Carrington Bowling and Croquet Club in Carterton.

Work on the $254,000 upgrade, set to start in March, was delayed because of the covid-19 lockdown.

Immediate past-president Ray Beale was left frustrated by the delay.

“It put us behind by about six weeks. We’d be up and playing by now. The weather has been so good.”

Beale said contractors Pope and Gray had completed excavation work, and Tiger Turf would start preparations to lay the new TigerWeave surface.

If the weather stayed good, it should take about six weeks to complete the project.

The all-weather green is similar to the carpet-weave green installed at the Queen Elizabeth Park facility shared by the Lansdowne and Masterton Park bowling clubs.

There will be eight rinks which allow Carrington to change the layout to suit the events it hosts.

“We can play all year round, it will give us a lot more flexibility, and it will cut our maintenance,” Beale said.

The realisation of the project is the culmination of a lot of hard work in the eight years since Carterton’s two bowling clubs – Carterton and Southend – merged.

“The Carterton club was founded in 1897 and was one of the oldest clubs in New Zealand, but it was struggling.

“It took a lot of hard work to get the amalgamation through in 2012 as there was a fair bit of opposition from some Southend members.”

The new club then sold the Southend Club facility behind the Royal Oak Hotel, holding the funds in trust to put towards the installation of an artificial green.

“We looked at working with the Carterton Rugby Club who were looking at moving to Carrington Park and would share our clubrooms.

“Then we planned to move to Howard Booth Park, and the soccer club were coming on board only for the costs to skyrocket.

“That fell through, so we pulled out because we were the only ones that had any money.”

Beale said the club then decided to renovate their Carrington Park facility and install the all-weather surface.

“We received a $60,000 grant from the Eastern and Central Trust, a $20,000 grant from One Foundation, and undertook a lot of other fundraising activities, including a popular fun horse racing evening, to complete the work.”

Beale hoped the new green would help with getting more people playing bowls and possibly joining the club.

“We plan to get public involvement and will try and get the schools involved by playing the 3-5-3 format which is very popular and is over in about an hour.”

The club has a total membership of about 75 for bowls and croquet.

While the bowlers will have the new all-weather green, the croquet players will still play on their separate grass lawns.