June 19 2013 Latest news:
Robin Cottle, Reporter
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
A series of Bexley bowls club are celebrating their improved the decaying facilities after receiving Olympic legacy funding.
Danson Park Bowls Consortium is made up of five clubs which play in Danson Park - men’s women’s, blind, Kingfisher and Bexley Vets.
The ditches surrounded the greens needed repairing, which secured the £40,000 cheque from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund.
Without the work the bowling greens would have been impossible to use and the bid was supported by Bexley council.
Peter Cooper, secretary of the men’s bowling club, said: “Thankfully we fell into the right category because the facilities need improvement or it would have been hard for us to carry on.
“We have over 200 members across the five clubs and we let members of the public use the greens so there were a lot of people relying on us.”
The total cost of the work cost £48,000. The consortium asked people to dip into their pockets to make up the shortfall and held a host of fund raising events.
Mr Cooper said: “When the facilities fund confirmed they were going to give us the money, they gave us a date by which we had to finish the work before they released the whole sum.
“Work started on December 13 last year and got the work done by the end of February. It was a relief to get it finished so quickly and get the cheque.”
Lawn bowls is not an Olympic sport but the consortium’s treasurer Paul Hoffman said he was hoping the funding will increase the exposure for the sport and the club and bring in a wider crowd.
He said: “This support and award will enable us to continue our commitment to encourage and introduce our sport to the community of Bexley. It is already enjoyed by hundreds of bowlers on our greens.”
The consortium is one of a number of sporting venues in the borough to receive legacy funding, including the Europa Centre in Crayford and Erith Yacht Club.
Councillor Peter Catterall said: “By securing the funding there will be a fantastic legacy in Bexley for years to come.
“Lawn bowling can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds.”