Club Story - Clarkston Bowling & Tennis Club

This season, Clarkston Bowling & Tennis Club in District 21 have registered as a Try Bowls Club with an aim to generate new members from within the community and start a Junior Section. A Try Bowls Club is an open and inclusive venue, offering opportunities for anyone to try our sport whether through an open-door policy, a series of taster sessions or a targeted event. We spoke to Clarkston’s Try Bowls Coordinator, Malcolm McLaren, to find out about how this club plans to increase membership in the 2022 season…

“Clarkston BTC have a small team of volunteers who are involved in planning and organising our Try Bowls programme, made up of myself, John McLay and David Greenwood. We decided to hold an open event for the community at the very start of the season in April and promoted this using Facebook and the local ‘I Love Clarkston’ web page. It was arranged for a Saturday afternoon and on the day we had 18 adults and 12 under 12’s, as a club we are trying to start a junior section, so we were really happy with the turn out. It is hoped that another Try Bowls event will take place during the summer and again at the start of next season.”

The club only asked that attendees wore flat soled shoes and provided all other equipment needed. The green was set up with colourful cones and games, such as noughts and crosses, ensuring a fun introduction to the sport for all who came along, with coaches on the greens to assist with the basics. Malcolm told us about some of the other measures in place to ensure a warm welcome for newcomers to the club:

“We’ve created a welcome leaflet for new members and are offering a reduced-price social bowling membership. We have free coaching available on request and rink 6 is made available for social members to try bowls at any time, they don’t even need to book the rink. We want to introduce more people to bowls to firstly provide a facility to the community and secondly for the wellbeing of the locals. A place to socialise and connect with people, but also to stay physically active.”

Clarkston BTC also hosted a Try Bowls evening for a local Scouts group, with so far 20 out of a total of 60 young new bowlers trying the sport for the first time. It’s great to see clubs establishing links with local community groups to provide opportunities to try our sport, proving bowls is great fun for all ages. The club holds extensive records of its history, with photos of events and records of members and presidents since opening day in 1909.

Bowls Scotland are delighted to see a club so passionate about preserving their history and tradition also ensuring the future of their club through increased participation and membership. We wish the club and members all the best for the rest of the 2022 season and beyond.

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