Bishopwood Bowling Club hopes to create new image for the sport
- Credit: Michael Spiro
One of the oldest lawn bowling clubs in north west London, Bishopswood Bowling Club, is seeking to change its image to remain a popular sport in years to come.
The club, established in 1935 and located within the Lyttelton Road Playing Fields in Hampstead Garden Suburb, is eager to get more youngsters playing.
Bishopswood is trying to reach out to the wider community with open days on Sunday May 30 and Monday May 31, with morning, afternoon and early evening sessions.
Club president Michael Spiro said: “We want to make it more receptive, more open, and more sexy for younger people.
“The reality itself is that bowls, as a game itself is for old and young, has no time or age restrictions.
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“The direction it naturally takes is that people with more time play it more, and that tends to be retired people. Then they style it to their liking – a uniform which has become part of the ritual.
“They play morning and afternoons every day, then that leaves very little ability for young people or people that are working the time to play. Therefore the picture of the club looks like it’s for old people.
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“That isn’t or wasn’t right. There is an under-18s league and children at ages of six and seven, and in other countries that tends to be more acceptable.
“When you go to beachside resorts or towers in Australia they have got a bowling green on them – people come and play bare foot – and a guy I work with went to wedding in Australia and they played on the beach.
“The first thing I did when I became president was to open the gate, dropped the uniform requirement, and made it more welcoming.
“People started walking in more. On the one hand our oldest member is going to be 95 soon, and our youngest is in the late 20s. We have a core in their 30s and early 40s which is good.
“We’re doing evening sessions, which are called twilight hours.”
Visit www.bishopswoodbc.co.uk for more information about the open weekend on May 30-31.