Bellis and co join Fisher in Himatangi showdown

Himatangi Beach's bowling club is using its initiative by promoting its promising young bowler, Sophie Fisher, in the interests of the small club.

The club is staging a "lawn bowls extravaganza", essentially a fund-raising day, from 4.30pm tomorrow.

It will feature three former world champions with Peter Belliss playing Phil Skoglund and Sharon Sims playing Fisher, as well as a girls-versus-boys showdown in another exhibition game.

Three-times world champion Belliss will later be the guest speaker, and musicians will entertain, with proceeds going to making improvements to the club property and to support Fisher's budding career.

Fisher, who has just turned 16, is in the New Zealand under-18 women's training group of 10 players and will need monetary assistance to get to tournaments.

Himatangi Beach was founded in 1998 and while it has had its low years, it can now boast about 50 members.

Everything is done voluntarily, including the greenkeeping.

Bowls Manawatu president Phil Skoglund is promoting a "family, friends and neighbours" initiative at three clubs in Palmerston North over four weekends.

He has secured sponsorship worth $1000 for the event which will run on February 10 and 24 and March 3 and 17 and will be 3-bowl pairs.

It is restricted to one member of a bowling club with a partner who must be a non-bowler.

Skoglund said he wants people to get out there and enjoy themselves and for the host clubs to put on barbecues after play.

"It will be somewhere you can take the family and enjoy yourself," he said.

"Spending three hours on a Sunday afternoon might work, or it might not."

It is an alternative to businesshouse bowls, which is run in midweek and from which only a few new members have come into the sport.

Manawatu's representative bowlers will have to pay $110 each to attend the national inter-centre championships in Auckland.

Bowls Manawatu was unable to fund the entire cost of the trip which can mean four days of bowls.

Only one player, from the men's team, has withdrawn because of the levy.

Meanwhile, Bowls Manawatu's new secretary, Ian Lewis, has transferred from Palmerston North with his family to Northland.

Long-serving administrator Vern Sixtus has returned to be secretary-treasurer, a post he has held in the past.

Manawatu Standard