Ambitious recruitment target for Swanage’s gentle game of bowls

Swanage Bowls Club is aiming to have more than a hundred members by the close of season as it launches a recruitment drive with two special ‘have a go’ sessions.

Those interested in taking up the sport described as a ‘skilful, but gentle’ game can go along to the club in Beach Gardens to try it out on Sunday 22nd May 2022, or the following Sunday 29th May 2022. The sessions are free and run from 10 am until 12 noon, and from 2 pm until 4 pm.


The club fields no fewer than seven competitive teams

“Lots of bending and walking but nothing too stressful”

Barrie Tatman, club secretary, said:

“We are endeavouring to increase our membership and joining with other clubs across the country in raising the profile of the sport.

“Bowling is a most social and enjoyable game. It’s not particularly easy but it is challenging, and it gives you a very gentle form of exercise.

“There’s lots of bending and walking but nothing too stressful.”

The club is holding two ‘have a go’ sessions as it bids to boost its membership to a hundred.

Flat shoes are vital

As well as playing in leagues, the club entertains a number of visiting teams every summer. There are four men’s teams, one mixed and two ladies teams. They play in the Dorset county league and the Bournemouth and District league.

But for the outright beginner there is coaching and support and clubroom socialising. Keeping the green in top condition is a priority, so everyone must wear flat shoes.

Beginners will get coaching

“Emphasise the social side”

Barrie said:

“We have a broad spectrum of people who are members and as a club we do like to emphasise the social side of things.

“There are currently about 80 members and that’s been holding reasonably steady. But this year we would really like to think we could reach around a hundred to a hundred and twenty.”

Naturally, bowls is a summer sport, but the club ensures a range of activities throughout the winter as well, with a monthly social and a Friday coffee morning.

The pavilion provides a place for socialising after games

Prospective members play for free

In summer, the club meets every Friday evening. Prospective members can come along five times for free, to get a feeling for the club. And membership is half price for the first year, with full membership being £100 a year, with a £15 registration fee.

Full members can play as much as they like once they have had sufficient coaching.

The new club president is Mike Keats and he has chosen Cancer Research as his chosen charity. He is running a special raffle with a Steiff Bear as a prize. The men’s captain this year is Tony Bell and the women’s captain is Jan Cherry.

The club meets every Friday in summer

Further information

  • More about the club is on its website.

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