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Covered facility important

Olivia Mancer in full flight at the Wellington Secondary Schools Bowls Championships. PHOTO/MASANORI UDAGAWA

BOWLS

JAKE BELESKI
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Plans for a covered outdoor bowls stadium in Masterton have been in the pipeline for some time, and any such facility could be vital to protecting the future of the game in the region.

Warren Fisher of Bowls Wairarapa said it was “very, very important” for the sport.

“It’s the future of our sport where we can play in all conditions.

“There’s a new bowling concept from Bowls New Zealand, where there is a quicker version of the game to be played and you could finish work, go down to the bowling green and within a couple of hours you’re out of there and you’ve had a good time.”

Fisher said there were 250 affiliated bowlers in Wairarapa, and another 800 playing casually.

He said a covered facility could work wonders for the region.

“Hopefully it will encourage leagues for the colleges and such as well.

“The numbers are getting up there, so we’ve now got to provide the facility to encourage more of those people.”

The cost to build such a facility is being worked out, as well as where potential funding could come from.

“I would like to think in two or three months we’ll know exactly how things are going to progress,” Fisher said.

“In July, it will be either a go, or a no-go.”

Ian Monaghan, a Wairarapa coach and representative player, said having a facility that could be used year-round would bring huge benefits.

“The season is basically run over summer, and the kids are all off school.

“We have places around the country that have good secondary school kids playing the game, and we could use the facility to latch on to that . . . if we have a decent facility we can attract people from Palmerston North and Upper Hutt.”

He said bowls was a sport that any person could play, and even the more experienced players would reap the rewards of such a facility.

“Even for the elderly – who likes to go out and play in the freezing weather?

“If you have a covered facility they can play every day.”

Monaghan said there was still a lot of work to be done, but the potential was obvious.

“It needs a bit of a push – it’s a bit like the new netball courts.

“If everybody keeps on plugging away it’ll be great for the community.”

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