Our hard work could be wasted!

2409g51 warout bowling 'Connor Grieve (P6/7b, Warout PS) throws his final bowl at Dovecot Bowling Club, Glenrothes
2409g51 warout bowling 'Connor Grieve (P6/7b, Warout PS) throws his final bowl at Dovecot Bowling Club, Glenrothes

COUNCIL cuts could wreck all our efforts to get young people into our sport.

That was the message from Gallatown Park Bowling Club in Kirkcaldy as the row over the local authority’s decision to withdraw funding rumbled on.

Faced with having to fund all its own maintenance costs it fears it could be forced to shut - wiping out their efforts to enthuse a new generation of players.

Martin Smart, president, said the club’s focus has been on working with local schoolchildren to bring them into the sport.

The initiative started in 2008 afte meeting with the council in 2008.

With one eye on its long-term future, it contacted Active Schools and last year scheduled planned visits from pupils from Pathead, Sinclairtown, St Marie’s and Rosslyn schools for six week taster sessions.

He added: ‘‘Four members attended coaching courses run by the Scottish Bowling Association to teach the kids how to play.

‘‘We also acquired junior sets of bowls through a grant from the Big Lottery, and arranged disabled access for pupils in wheelchairs from Rosslyn School by purchasing new bowling green access steps as well as a portable disabled ramp.

“Although things didn’t happen as quickly as we thought, we did have kids from Rosslyn primary school attending during the last two months of the 2010 season, and they really enjoyed themselves.

Fun day

“We also agreed to attend a Community Fun Day at Kirkcaldy High School on April 9, when we will be coaching youngsters interested in playing carpet bowls.

‘‘This will give us an opportunity to try to attract more young blood to the club,” he added.

“But what good is all this hard work going to do if we can’t afford the maintenance costs for our greens?”

Jim Hooton, Fife Council’s parks manager, said: “I’d like to reiterate our continuing commitment to supporting the clubs affected and helping them to work through the financial options available to them.

We know clubs recognise the need for change which has been demonstrated through the work many have carried out to increase their membership and widen participation.”