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Bowls Southland remains eager to brand itself as a sport for all ages, and part of the push is the instigation of a new "Student Club", which will start tomorrow.
Bowls across New Zealand has been faced with a declining membership and Bowls Southland sees the move to get more younger players involved as a key way to try to stem that drop-off in numbers.
The Student Club will be dedicated to secondary and tertiary students aged between 12 and 26 and will be held at the Northend Bowling club each Friday from 4pm-6pm during school terms.
The two-hour session will comprise 30 minutes of coaching, 60 minutes of competition and the final 30 minutes socialising.
A free barbecue will be operated by Bowls Southland volunteers.
Bowls Southland chief executive Karen Ralston said the main point would be enjoyment but given the age group, some competitiveness would develop for some of the players.
"Research indicates that some of the perceived barriers to participation in physical activity include high costs, poor access to facilities and unsafe environments. This initiative addresses all these issues," Ralston said.
To help get the concept off the ground, Bowls Southland has received a $5000 grant from the Invercargill City Council's Invercargill Active Communities fund, which has allowed Bowls Southland to buy bowls for the students.
The students will become affiliated members but the Northend Bowling Club and Bowls Southland have agreed to waive fees to keep the costs down.
The club will run over four Fridays (November 9, 16, 23 and 30). At the end of the four weeks, after feedback from all involved, Bowls Southland will look at starting the club again on February 8 next year.
Those interested in joining the Bowls Southland Student Club do not need to register and can just turn up at 4pm on Friday at the Northend Bowling Club.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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