Beccles club hosts taster event to get more people playing bowls

Some of the junior members at Beccles Indoor Bowls Club. Picture: Nick Butcher

Some of the junior members at Beccles Indoor Bowls Club. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It is a sport often associated with the older generation. But members at Beccles Indoor Bowls Club start from as young as 10 and an open day is being held next week to get more people interested in the sport.

The club, which has been running since 1974, currently has 340 members with some in their 90s. And despite already being well used by members, the club still has room for more.

Chairman Graham Catchpole said: “We are a very successful club but not many people in the town seem aware of us, when they do enter the club most people are amazed at what they find.

“We have had national champions at a number of levels and have three teams who have qualified for the 2016 All England Championships Finals.

“We are a very friendly club and for the older generation we offer a very safe and enjoyable way of meeting people and getting very good exercise. We also have a very active 20 to 30 age group that have come up through our junior ranks and now play in our strongest men’s team.”

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The open day is being held at the club in Common Lane South next Sunday, February 28, and everyone is welcome to have a look around and try the game.

Eighteen-year-old Andrew Todd, who has been playing bowls for about 10 years, got into the sport through family. He said: “The club is made up of a large group of people who are really supportive of you.

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“Come and have a go. People who play will help, it’s a really friendly sport.”

The club also offers junior coaching sessions every Saturday morning from 9am to 10.30am for youngsters aged from eight to 15. Lois Bollington, 13, has been attending for nearly three years.

She said: “My Nan played bowls and I used to come down sometimes and watch her. I gave it a go and I’ve been playing ever since. You can make a lot of new friends and win trophies.”

Ryan Claxton, 17, plays in the club league and is a national triples champion. He added: “They have given me the chance to progress through the club, they’re really good at giving people an opportunity.”

The open day will run from 10am to 6pm and all you need to take along is a pair of flat shoes.

Mr Catchpole added: “Bowls can be played by anybody against anybody there are no restrictions on gender or age. The club is open seven days a week from 10am to 10.30pm and has six two-hour sessions each day.

“The backbone of the club is the internal leagues that play on various days of the week, members can join teams and play competitively or just play with friends for a social get together and a cup of tea.”

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