Bowls CEO coming to Deni

By Jamie Lowe

Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple will visit the Deniliquin RSL Bowling Club on Monday to speak with regional bowling club presidents.

It comes after Deniliquin RSL Bowling Club president Ken Wellard asked Bowls Australia what is it doing to help those clubs struggling due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

‘‘I posted a bit of a rant on Facebook about Bowls Australia, and then I was contacted to organise a meeting,’’ Wellard said.

‘‘They’ve helped a couple of clubs that were struggling following the bushfires, and I just want to know how they will help the smaller clubs in rural areas that are now struggling.

‘‘My main beef is that we only hear about the bigger clubs and elite players, but what about the small clubs and average players.

‘‘We’re lucky that we have the backing of the Deniliquin RSL to keep us afloat, but not everyone has that luxury.

‘‘We have smaller clubs like Lockington and Elmore in the Campaspe Valley Bowls Division that may struggle to survive post COVID-19.

‘‘We don’t want to see clubs like these shutting their doors because they are a vital part of the competition and we have made plenty of friends from these clubs over the years.’’

Wellard confirmed that representatives from Mathoura Bowling Club and Hay Bowling Club will also be in attendance for the CEO’s visit.

He said another topic on the agenda will be the availability of grants for clubs in the Southern Riverina.

‘‘We’re a club in New South Wales but we bowl under the Bowls Victoria banner,’’ Wellard said.

‘‘Because we’re in New South Wales we can’t get Victorian bowls grants, but because we bowl in Victoria it has been difficult to get any New South Wales grants.

‘‘We want to clear up what we can do in this instance, as well as highlighting that we often miss out because of our location’’