With the best part of 500 miles between them, the Bowls Clubs of Falmouth, Perranporth and Seahouses are representing all corners of the country in Bowls’ Big Weekend this coming weekend.
All three clubs have signed up to open their doors for free over Saturday, and clubs across England are doing the same all weekend long.
As the southernmost club taking part, Falmouth are welcoming the bright weather forecast – although their Secretary Michael Prophet joked he doesn’t want it to be too sunny! “We can’t have it too bright as then people might want to go to the beach instead!
“We did Bowls’ Big Weekend last year and had a good few people through the door and expressing interest in the sport, so we’ve decided to do it again this year.
“We’ve been using the posters from Bowls England and posts are going out on social media as well, hopefully the local radio too so fingers crossed we get more of the same.
“We’re laying on tea, coffee and biscuits, we’ve got targets on the greens to make it simple and interesting, have a bit of fun with it.
“The nice weather will hopefully make a difference although it can bring out the other attractions like sailing and windsurfing but we’ll keep plugging away!”
Also in the South West, Phil Oakes of Perranporth is looking forward to another successful weekend after his club became the 550th to sign up.
“Last year we had a very good take-up and a number of people came back and stayed with us. We’ve just received our box of goodies from Bowls England which is helpful, and after our previous Open Day this month was rained off, we’re very much looking forward to this weekend.
“We’ll welcome new people and I always say it’s as much about the social side as it is the playing. We keep our social side going in the winter months, we get together to either play short mat bowls or table tennis and it’s very important to us as a club.”
As the northernmost club signed up, Seahouses in Northumberland are very keen to bring in new players, as their secretary Stephen Clement explains: “We’re in a village of 1800 people so every player is very important to us.
“As a club of course we’re keen to engage youngsters, we had children along from the local social club and picked up more members that way too.
“We started with Bowls’ Big Weekend last year and still have people playing who signed up 12 months ago, so we’re hoping more people come through the door this time.”
With more than 550 clubs on board, there are events taking place right across the nation and players can sign up to take part at www.bowlsbigweekend.com