Never mind Christmas countdown - bowls season countdown is on

So much has been different about the 2020 bowls season and Marine Gardens Bowls Club’s annual meeting, usually held in early December, was not immune.

Sunday, 13th December 2020, 11:45 am
Marine Gardens BC captain Michael Ives presents the Merit Cup to Terry Urben

Turnouts of around 60-70 are commonplace but that obviously doesn’t work with Covid restrictions. Any sort of online meeting had the potential to descend into good-natured chaos.

Finally, it was agreed the usual reports would be circulated by email and by post where necessary, and that the 2020 admin team would simply roll over to 2021. The 2020-21 committee lines up as follows:

President – Jill Colbourn

Captain – Michael Ives

Secretary – Jenny Ashman

Treasurer – Norman Deegan

Assistant secretary – Pamela Chambers

Vice-captain – Pauline Hughes

Match secretary – Bob Cole

Competition secretary – Steve Davis

Social secretary – Shaun Coppard

Press officer – Terry Urben

General committee members – Paul Baker & Leon White

Other club roles:

Safeguarding officer – Paula Seymour

Welfare officer – Clive Wootton

Sussex County Bowls men’s delegate – Shaun Coppard

Sussex County Bowls women’s delegate – Jill Colbourn

Notwithstanding, the tribulations of the Covid-blighted summer of 2020 the club was delighted to welcome 14 new members.

They are: Paul & Sandra Baker, Pam & Brian Williams, Philip Floyd, Laurie Bradley, June Chalkley, Valerie Conway, Heather Marsella, Betty Stevenson, Angela & Keith White, Liz & Tim Baldwin.

The club say they hope the new recruits have many happy years of bowling, continuing with 2021 where in expectation of greater normality, 86 fixtures have been arranged against other clubs. Additionally, there isthe usual internal programme of competitions, leagues and fun drives.

Of course, all our bowling will be subject to prevailing COVID guidelines, with all safety measures observed.

Club membership now stands at 91 players and 20 social members. Playing membership is capped at 98 so there is room for a few more.

Experienced or total beginner; all players are assured of a warm welcome at Marine Gardens. Anyone interested in a taster session should contact club secretary Jenny Ashman on 01903 505077 / email [email protected]

The club’s Opening Drive is fixed for Saturday, April 24. So there are 132 days (from today, Sunday Dec 13) until the curtain rises on the new season.

The club look forward to good bowls, good humour; seeing old friends and making new ones. Let the countdown begin!

Capt gives thanks

Marine Gardens BC captain Michael Ives thanked all those who had contributed to the restart of bowls in a Covid-secure environment. Special mention was given to the following:

David Hughes – for running the rink-booking system and co-organising several fun drives.

Steve Davis – for scheduling a full hand of 12 competitions; co-organising fun drives and regular cleaning of club equipment.

Jenny Ashman – for provision of cleaning materials; display of Covid info posters and ensuring all members were kept informed.

Bob Cole – for organising 17 friendly matches and helping with the green.

Mick Wilson – for installing hand sanitisers in the clubhouse, decorating and green maintenance.

Norman Deegan – for orchestrating the transition from council maintenance of the green to the use of the club’s contractor Complete Turf Care, led by

Ben Harwood and his team. There could not have been a less opportune time to commit to a new contract, but Norman’s careful stewardship of the club’s finances, coupled with the loyal support of members who renewed subs even before we knew bowling was feasible, kept everything on an even keel.

Terry Urben – for coaching, acting as press officer, ground maintenance including watering and re-orientating the green each week. Thanks also went to to Helen Urben for helping with green maintenance. For his overall contribution Terry Urben was the proud recipient of the Merit Cup.