Return to lawn green bowls after lockdown

Hopefully the green will have players on in April.

Hopefully, the green will have players on in April. - Credit: Torquay Bowls Club

Following the Prime Minister's recent announcement that, from March 29, organised outdoor sports facilities can re-open, then what better way to shake off the lockdown blues than to get out in the fresh air, as advised by virologists, and engage in and enjoy some sporting exercise, by giving lawn bowls a try, in a Covid-secure and socially friendly condition?

While many people of a certain age are likely to have received at least their first vaccine jab by the time that Torquay Bowls Club officially opens for the summer on Sunday, April 25, it is perfectly understandable that there may well be a degree of nervousness about returning - or for newcomers - to be indulging in this, or indeed any sport.

However, bowls is a naturally socially distanced,  non-contact activity, and plays a key part in the mental and physical  health of many thousands up and down the country.

In 2020, Torquay Bowls Club played for four months of the summer, in a Covid-secure environment, at all times complying with the stringent rules and guidance laid down by the Government, and agreed, endorsed and supervised by Bowls England, the sport’s governing body.

As to age, experience, ethnicity, disability - none of these are an issue. If you are a complete beginner there are times set aside for you, and coaching is freely given. Bowls equipment, not clothing, is provided initially at no cost, and age is usually not a problem - subject, of course, to reasonable health conditions.

Current members' ages run from 13 years old to ‘later years’.

Dress code - the sport has moved with the times and, like cricket, has become much more colourful, and less clinically white, and while ‘whites’ are still worn in certain competitions, a clothing relaxation has taken place, incorporating much more colour.

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In fact, concerning the bowls (woods) used, these now come in any of the colours of the rainbow, as well as the more traditional black or brown.

The only absolute ‘must’ is that only flat-soled shoes with no heel are allowed, to safeguard the highly maintained green (surface).

If you require any further information on any bowling subject, then please contact club secretary Mrs June Skennerton on 01803 842533 or club captain Eric Leason on 07895 451841.