Summer is here at long last and the outdoor bowls season is well and truly underway. If you have a hankering to try out the game I would encourage you to go ahead and get involved.
As a relative newcomer myself, I can thoroughly recommend this social sport and I’m really looking forward to my third season playing for Torquay Bowling Club.
An Outdoor Bowls Star in the Making?
It was my daughter, Ella, who introduced the Crouch family to the game through her involvement with the Torbay Schools League. Having joined the bowls team for her school, St Cuthbert Mayne, she instantly fell in love with the game. Their home ground is based at Torquay Bowling Club where we were made to feel so welcome that we decided to join.
The weekend we decided to ask about joining it was Captain’s Day. Although we weren’t yet members, Ella was asked to play for the team. In the space of an hour we raced down the town and kitted her out with the required white trousers, white T shirt and white shoes, following which she played in a team and won!! What a great introduction to the sport. Ella is definitely the best player in the family and has a natural aptitude for the game.
Since then, she has played numerous games, although last year’s highlight was probably the time she played against international star, Sophie Tolchard in the singles competition 2nd round. She has also represented Devon twice in county matches and played in various club competitions. This year she will be in the Devon Triples competition, and has also entered the Singles, Pairs and Under 25 Pairs. It’s certainly going to be a busy year.
Outdoor Bowls – a Sociable Sport for All Levels
As you can tell, I am hugely proud of Ella, but you don’t have to play at her level to take part. The rest of our family all enjoy the sport and are involved at different levels to suit our own abilities.
For my part I too joined Torquay Bowling Club and play against friendly, touring sides and in the Ladies B team. This year I have been talked into competing in the Devon mixed pairs competition. I also make sure I take a turn in helping out with refreshments for visiting clubs.
My Dad joined up at the same time as me and he plays friendly and touring sides. He has also participated in a couple of the working party days to help the team of men that care for the green. My Mum isn’t a member, but goes along to support us when we are playing, and she helps out backstage in the kitchen.
Finally, my husband is a social member as he cannot commit to fixed times due to his working hours. This means he can use the greens for practice and when he is available, he can be invited to play in matches.
Bowling Holidays in Torquay
In addition to playing, I am lucky that my job as Bowling Sales Executive at Torquay’s TLH Leisure Resort brings me into contact with bowlers and bowling every day. This year I am really looking forward to welcoming outdoor tours to stay at TLH as well as playing myself. In fact my first club match at Torquay Bowling Club was played on 21 April against Bournemouth, who were staying at the TLH Derwent Hotel. TLH really is the ideal location for an outdoor bowls holiday in the South West with many fine clubs for touring sides to play against.
How You Can Start Playing Outdoor Bowls
- Make enquiries with your local Bowling Club. Most clubs gladly welcome new players and are happy to invite novices to come along to try out a game for themselves.
- What about bowls? Check first, but they will most likely have bowls that you can borrow in a variety of sizes, so you can find out what suits you best.
- What do I wear? Again, check first, but the only thing that you will need is to wear grey trousers and a white top. You will also need to wear shoes that are white or grey and have very little tread on them. For example, a pair of white trainers with a smooth sole are perfect.
For anyone local to this area, Torquay Bowling Club has a Family Open Day on 14th May 2016 for anyone to come along and have a go – young and old. So why not come and join us?
Hopefully you’ll soon be hooked like me and the rest of my family.