Amid all the stories on the blog site about successful sporting clubs in the City of Unley’s west comes a storey of struggle and a fight for survival.
I have been only too conscious that this club has been fighting for survival for many years now and has come close previously to folding. With Council to develop an improvement plan for the Millswood facility commencing early next year the question of the clubs viability will be bought into strong focus.
The following is a storey from John Stokes at the Eastern Courier.
MILLSWOOD Bowling Club is determined not to roll over despite a shortage of players jeopardising the 90-year-old club’s future.
The club is calling for players to boost its 18-member stocks and allow it to continue fielding teams in Wednesday and Saturday pennant competitions.
Club president Dave Serrels said the club was in a good position financially but it needed to double its playing numbers to prevent closure.
“If the club folded everybody would scatter to the winds,” Mr Serrels said. “We’ve made a lot of good friends here and we’d just like to stay together.”
Mr Serrels has been involved with the Millswood Cres club, founded in 1922, for more than 20 years and said people had fought for many years to keep the club going. “We’re financial but we haven’t got enough players … ideally we’d like about 40 members,” Mr Serrels said.
The club will hold a special general meeting this weekend to determine if it can field teams this season.
Mr Serrels said the club hoped to build up its Thursday night social competition, which had 10 teams, and attract bowlers to play pennant competitions.
“What we’d ideally like is for people to come and join our night owls and get interested from there,” he said
“No previous experience is required.”
Former club president Pat Reilly said the club’s membership had dwindled as people retired from the game, moved away or died.
“The problem with the pressures of the 21st century is that people with young families find it difficult to commit time wise which has made recruiting a difficult process,” Mr Reilly said. “There are people out there who are looking for some sort of a social outlet, I’m sure, but we just don’t know where they live.”
He said lawn bowls was a sport for all ages and had positive social and health outcomes. “The saying is ‘lawn bowls is a young person’s sport but old people can still play it’,” he said.
“By the same token, you’re walking about 10km in an afternoon, albeit at a fairly slow, casual pace.
“It is a good workout without knocking yourself about.
“There are five of us sitting here (at the club) now having a quiet pint in the sunshine – you could be at home watching Days of Our Lives or something but it’s a bit more interesting down here.”
Would you or anyone you know like to join Millswood Bowling Club as a social or competition bowler? Contact the club on 8271 3172.