Bowls may be undergoing a renaissance in Daventry after officials at a fun day event said they were ‘shocked’ by the huge turnout.
A total of 111 people attended Stefen Hill sports club on Saturday, August 9 for a day-long taster session organised by Bowls Daventry, a partnership of local bowls enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to getting people into the sport.
This surprised organisers, who had expected around 30 people. At one point there was even an hour-long queue for the bowls green.
Mark Courtney, project manager at a Bowls Daventry, said: “We are still in a state of shock about how the day unfolded. We are delighted because it means we can really respond to the need in the town.”
The fun day was attended by players of all ages, including two local Scout groups. Even mascots from the Northampton Saints Rugby Club and the Air Ambulance service received pointers from more experienced players.
There were several mixed teams of four players competing for prizes including bottles of wine, vouchers, and free use of a golf training simulator.
Mr Courtney said: “June Coyles, ex president of Daventry Lawn Bowls Club, presented prizes to juniors. She said she was delighted with the state of the greens and facilities.”
More than £115 was raised for the Air Ambulance Service through a raffle on the day.
Mr Courtney said Bowls Daventry has ambitious plans for the future. He said: “We would like to have an under 25s team and people competing at an international level.”
Anyone interested in getting involved in the sport is invited to attend free coaching sessions on Thursday from 6pm at Daventry Town Bowls Club and Friday from 6pm at Mayfield Park bowls club.
“Nobody was expecting bowls to be so much fun.” Mr Courtney said.
Organisers at Bowls Daventry have set out their ambitious plans to encourage a new ‘third generation’ of bowlers into the sport, with the possibility of expanding to other sports such as golf.
A bowls road show will take place at Daventry Leisure Centre on Saturday, September 27 while a number of free taster sessions will run at bowls clubs in Daventry every Thursday and Friday.
An auction to raise money for the initiative will be held in the coming weeks.