Trust grant saves nationals bid

Aside from the small matter of $1500, Manawatu's 14 best bowlers will be flying to Auckland in late February.

Manawatu's presence at the national intercentre finals was hinging on being able to raise the entry fee of $7000.

A week before the deadline, a crucial $3000 arrived from the New Zealand Community Trust to avoid having to scratch the team. But a shortfall of $1500 must come from the team or fundraising.

Had the trust grant not come through, the players might have had to cough up $300 each.

"Then we were possibly finding a team of players who could afford it; and we don't want to go down that track," said Bowls Manawatu president Phil Skoglund.

He wasn't going to put the centre into debt to send the team away by doling out $7000 of precious reserves on two teams of seven players. He was mindful there were 850 bowlers in the centre also paying levies.

Manawatu had been among 24 of New Zealand's 27 centres to earlier cough up the deposit of $1050.

Previously, the country was divided into six zones for playoffs, and it cost $2500 to attend those. The Manawatu centre had kept that amount in the basket for the national intercentre finals.

The representative players have been told they might have to contribute $100 each for the three or four days, or raise money from raffles and centre events.

"That's been accepted," Skoglund said. "A lot of other centres have put heavier levies on their players."

In the long term, Skoglund wonders whether such costs might lead to centres amalgamating, as in other sports.

Taranaki has big numbers but Manawatu and Wanganui are of a similar size, while Gisborne-East Coast and Wairarapa have only a few hundred bowlers between them.

Meanwhile, Skoglund was surprised so many south Taranaki greens had been allocated for the nationals in Taranaki.

He said that would create a lot of travel for bowlers who flew to New Plymouth or car-pooled to get there.

Manawatu intercentre squads (to be cut to 7)

Men's: Philip Skoglund Jr, Craig Gush, Mark Noble, Grant Davis (Northern); Ross Ellery, Pat Horgan, Craig Barrett, Dean Gilshnan, Graham Cooley (PN); Barry Wynks (Takaro).

Women's: Sheryn Blake, Georgie Kahui-Rogers (Terrace End); Robyn Schischka (Johnston Park); Feona Sayles, Janeen Noble, Anna Davis, Chris Quinn, Jacinta Cousins, Mere Fryer, Julianne Mills (Northern).

Manawatu Standard