Woodley set for top Bowls Manawatu post

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 22/07/2014

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A gent commonly known as Woody is destined to become Bowls Manawatu's Mr President on Sunday.

Tony Woodley is the only nominee to succeed bowls great Phil Skoglund, who is stepping down.

Skoglund's health hasn't been the best and he has asked Woodley to chair the annual meeting at the Palmerston North Bowling Club on Sunday.

Woodley is one of two vice-presidents. The other, Lyn Elphick (Himatangi Beach), has stood down.

Woodley came onto the executive two years ago when Skoglund succeeded Tony Jensen as president.

"At my first meeting they couldn't get a vice-president; Skog nominated me when he took over," Woodley said.

Even at 71 he admits he is a newcomer to such a position, but says he will get through even if there are a few mistakes along the way.

Born in Waimate, South Canterbury, he moved from Christchurch to Manawatu in 1984, working for Higgins Group, then as a milkman, and at Ashhurst Rota Plastics.

Woodley was president of the Ashhurst Bowling Club for eight years, but split with them in April and switched to Terrace End.

His philosophy is that it took bowls 100 years to adopt coloured clothing and can't afford to take another 100 years to make changes.

"With membership in the older bracket, we've got to look at running short-sharp tournaments," he said.

Assuming the annual meeting approves, Bowls Manawatu will change the route to pathway tournaments next summer, from the winners of champion-of-champions events to the winners of open tournaments.

That way the bigger clubs are not disadvantaged. The board went to the clubs, listened to them, and want what is best for all 16.

With tournament entries dropping, they also want to revise the minimum number of entries for gold star events down from 24.

Under the new constitution, there will be only one vice-president and recent Palmerston North Bowling Club president Steve Toms is the sole nominee.

Returning to the board are Norah Bacon (Hokowhitu), Viv Lozell (Northern) and Coral Wing (Palmerston North). Former executive member Les Webster (Woodville), is coming back, and new men are Eric Cairncross (PN) and Ross Martin (Johnston Park). Another will be elected from the floor.

Standing down are Noeleen Elston, Stewart McGrail and Terry Puklowski, although all three have offered to help when needed.

Secretary Vern Sixtus has done four years in his latest stint and is available to continue.

Former men's representative selector Eric Watson is standing as the women's selector.

Craig Gush stood for the men's role vacated by Puklowski, but has since withdrawn while Don Sones is the other applicant.

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The board will appoint the selectors.

- Manawatu Standard

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