Costs threaten to put the skids under the Manawatu teams attending the national intercentre finals in Christchurch next year.
The Bowls Manawatu annual meeting yesterday was told it would cost between $10,800 and $13,400 to send the men's and women's teams away.
That will work out at about $1000 per player or about $20 for every bowler in Manawatu for four days play.
The trip was almost scuttled yesterday on recommendation from the Hokowhitu and Johnston Park clubs to the incoming board who had asked for the delegates' opinions.
But retiring Bowls NZ president Phil Skoglund urged club delegates to hold fire, at least until the end of November in case charitable trust grants came through. However, entries must be lodged by October.
"It is too big a negative," Skoglund said. "If they are not going to go it would deflate a lot of players."
Johnston Park's Tony Jensen said until three years ago the format was a regional intercentre event conducted at little cost. The finals are now on a rota between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and as Jensen pointed out, Christchurch has the country's most expensive accommodation.
Christchurch was apparently chosen as the venue against advice from the regions.
Last year centres had to pay an early $1000 deposit to Bowls NZ, with the balance of the $6000 equalisation to be paid later. Now centres must cop all the costs.
Manawatu declared a surplus of $5245 yesterday. But should the centre have to pay for the representative teams, it could turn into a deficit of up to $25,000 next year.
None of their $9000 sponsorship from last summer has yet been taken up and it was moved yesterday that the secretary-manager's honorarium be raised from $7500 to $10,000. That is understood be half of that paid in many centres.
Had secretary Vern Sixtus taken up all of his $7500 honorarium last summer instead of just $2000, the centre's financial result would have been a break-even one.
Bowls Manawatu does have accumulated funds of $57,020.
There was a drop of $2000 in levies because player numbers fell from 808 to 765 last summer. There was no income from three tournaments which were cancelled because of a lack of entries and most open events ran at a deficit. If sponsorship doesn't come through, they will have to be self-funding this season.
A move by the Bowls Manawatu board to increase their affiliation fee by $6 to $26 plus GST (including a champion-of-champions entry fee) was sliced in half, to $3 and $23 plus GST. It included a $2 increase in the Bowls NZ affiliation fee.
New president Tony Woodley chaired the meeting. The board of Norah Bacon, Eric Cairncross, Viv Lozell, Ross Martin, Les Webster and Coral Wing was elected with a seventh member yet to be added.
- Manawatu Standard
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