Bowls club looks towards redevelopment

By Liz Mellino

State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has thrown her support behind a planned redevelopment of East Shepparton Bowls Club.

With plans to build a third green on the east side of its clubrooms, Ms Lovell has called on the Andrews Government to provide funding for the project.

Club vice-president Dennis Galt said the club had plans to build an undercover green, to allow for use on days with rain or extreme heat.

‘‘Instead of covering one of the two existing greens, we thought we would start a new one, which will give us a third green,’’ he said.

‘‘It will protect us from the elements and allow us to play more games through the winter.’’

The addition will provide a second undercover green for lawn bowlers in Greater Shepparton, with the only other one at Shepparton Park Bowls Club.

The green will be built on unoccupied land on the east of the block, and will allow for an overhead structure and adjoining verandahs.

The club is in talks with Greater Shepparton City Council and relevant politicians to secure grants to bring its grand plan to fruition.

‘‘We are trying for a dollar-for-dollar grant, we have a fair amount of money ourselves, but we need a grant to succeed,’’ club president Chris Johnson said.

‘‘If we get this grant, we will be able to build the green, lay it down and do the whole job.’’

The upgrade will also allow the club to increase its membership of 120 and provide a multi-use facility for the Shepparton community.

In an adjournment debate in Victorian Parliament directed to the sports minister, Ms Lovell said the planned construction would be a boon for the self-funded club.

‘‘The facilities at East Shepparton are used by a variety of community organisations including schools, service clubs, disability providers and aged-care facilities,’’ she said.

‘‘The club also hosts sections of the Victorian Open bowls championship, with 1800 participants generating great revenue for the club and wider community.’’