Alloway Bowling Club
Alloway Village, Ayr
"Young and old enjoying an outdoor fun sport together"
Alloway Bowling Club was formed in 2000 and is situated in Alloway, a suburb of Ayr.
Over the past four years the membership has grown from 40 to more than 60y – a trend uncommon in the world of bowling!
The club is managed by a committee of six office bearers elected at our AGM. Regular committee meetings are held throughout the year. Weekly “information sessions” are held on Sundays (our most popular day) before our normal Sunday game. This helps to keep individual members informed of developments and hopefully promote a sense of belonging.
The overall aim of the club is to promote and foster participation in the game of lawn bowls within the local community. The vast majority of new members are novices to bowling and we offer free coaching and the use of equipment to anyone showing an interest in the game.
As well as “come and try sessions”, Tuesday afternoons have been set aside for tuition.
Since its inception the club has not been hidebound to follow “traditional bowling club rules” and is not a member of local or national associations.
Our emphasis is on fitness and fun and there is absolutely no segregation regarding when ladies and gents may play. All members are regarded as equal and virtually all competitions are open to both sexes.
Although we do not participate in formal league matches with other clubs, throughout the season we play a number of friendly games with other local clubs. This prevents us becoming insular and inward looking and allows us to gauge our standard of play.
On an annual basis we promote charity events and have supported the LifeBoats and the British Red Cross for 15 years. Last year a decision was taken to support three local charities per year and invite a speaker along from each to describe the work they do locally.
In order to attract younger participants, a conscious decision was taken to promote casual wear while playing. The feeling was that a formal, outdated uniform would discourage youngsters from taking part.
Over the past two seasons we have developed links with the two local Primary Schools – Alloway Primary School and Doonfoot Primary School. More than 100 primary school children have received basic bowls tuition and approximately 20 of our members volunteered their expertise. We see this as a natural growth area and wish to build on its success.
In circumstances where older members are no longer physically fit to bowl they are strongly encouraged to remain as “Associate Members”, enjoying the benefits of membership and taking part in our range of social activities.
A number of our members have special needs and are well catered for.
In summary, the practical aim of Alloway Bowling Club is to involve the local community, promote exercise and sport and demonstrate that bowling is fun.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
As we receive no external funding, and having to spend significantly on ensuring that our bowling green is fit for purpose, fund raising is a continuous issue.
Our main source of funding is via social functions, the main fund raiser being a very successful “Community Coffee Morning” held annually at the start of the season.
For the past three years our ambition has been to provide sets of small bowls for children’s use (normal adult bowls are too big and heavy for small hands!)
Unfortunately our financial position has not allowed these purchases to be achieved and it has been necessary to soldier on with the children using adult bowls – a minority of children cope reasonably well with this but most find it difficult and possibly demotivating.
Should our bid be successful, we will purchase four/five sets of children’s outdoor bowls suitable for ten and eleven year olds. These bowls would also be useful for physically limited members and adults sampling outdoor bowls for the first time.
The purchase of sets of “children’s bowls” would benefit approximately 100 local school children annually, as well as other regular young visitors to the club.
With the goodwill and enthusiasm of our member volunteers, there should be permanent benefit to local schoolchildren.
""School's good, but bowling's better"
KEIRA, a primary 6 pupil at Alloway Primary School"