A new synthetic bowling green is being rolled out at Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club.
The club’s latest asset has been made possible by a grant of $198,500 from the NSW government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund, announced a year ago by Kevin Anderson, Member for Tamworth in State Parliament.
The green is being installed by Victorian-based contractor Berry Bowling Surfaces, which has laid synthetic bowls surfaces all over Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Asian countries in the last 30 years.
The new green complements the Bicket Green, fronting Conadilly Street, which was converted to synthetic four years ago.
Bowls co-ordinator Scott Thorning said the addition of a second synthetic surface should prove “a great boost” for the sport.
“Bowls is struggling all over the state, for numbers in an ageing population and for financial viability, and synthetic is the way of the future, because it reduces costs, which are very high with day-to-day preparation and maintenance of grass surfaces.
“Clubs are simply having to close down through rising costs but synthetic is a year-round, consistent surface and I can see great benefits for the club having two of these greens.
“It should help us upgrade our bowls program and bring the game to a much broader range of people.
“Everyone who plays bowls loves it straight away and we hope to make the game more accessible to a wider range of the community.
“We’re looking at ways of building up our membership, particularly in the young adult to middle-aged range, and bringing the game to more people.”
Contractor Berry Bowling Surfaces laid its first synthetic surface at Heathcote BC in Victoria in 1993 and has since installed more than 600 synthetics around the world.
The new green will be ready for play in the new year. The next project will be a synthetic at Lightning Ridge BC.