On Saturday the 23rd September we held our annual finals day, this year combined with President’s Day plus a barbecue at lunchtime.
There were two games in the morning, the Victory Handicap Singles and the President’s Singles.
The Handicap was won by Terry Jones by just one shot, beating Colin Gray 20-19 after a very close-fought game.
Terry Jones (centre) with Bob and Eric - Victory Handicap Singles Winner 2023
Bob Davies, our club secretary, beat John Bashford, one of our newer members - through to his very first final - 21-14.
Bob Davies with Eric Trim - President's Singles Winner 2023
After a fine barbecue lunch in a full clubhouse, playing resumed with both Colin Gray and John Bashford in action again but this time against each other in the Championship Singles Final. John put his disappointment of his morning game behind him, winning the coveted title by 21 shots to 10, and he will represent Richmond Park Bowls Club in the Bournemouth and District Champion of Champions competition next season.
Well done John!
John Bashford (centre) with Bob Davies and Eric Trim - Club Singles Chamption 2023
In the shorter format Vice-President’s Singles Final, Terry Jones, after a slow start, beat Steve Meech by 13 shots to 11.
The Championship Pairs final has now been played and was won by Ted Manzi and Stan Latto who beat Mel Harris and Steve Meech by 21 shots to 18.
The Drawn Pairs final has been postponed until early next season due to player illness.
The Richmond Park Bowls Club, in Bournemouth, offers a sense of community to members all year round. This is especially beneficial to the older generation of members, who may be lonely or stuck in their homes a lot of the time.
The club, located in the Winton area of Bournemouth, is home to over 50 members and is a great social space for the local community. Members are able to come to the club and practice, compete in competitive leagues, or just socialise with fellow members.
In 2023, 34% of adults aged 50-80 reported feeling isolated from others within the last year. Social places and clubs like Richmond Park are helping to combat this as they offer a place for people to go to and socialise multiple times a week, with people of similar ages and interests.
The club offers social events throughout the year, including a monthly quiz and barbeques during the summer months. These are open to both club members and non-members, which allows greater numbers to enjoy the events.
David Phillips, 77, has been a club member since he retired in Bournemouth ten years ago after living in London his whole life. Phillips suffered a heart attack prior to retiring and had to give up his other sports due to his mobility. He now visits the club three times a week.
Phillips agreed that the club was great for fighting loneliness and said he thinks people ‘join the club for fellowship’. As well as this, exercise is one of the most important things older adults can do for their health; it can prevent or delay many of the health problems that come with age.
Richmond Park Bowls Club is also one of the few clubs in the area that offers short mat bowls along with lawn bowls. This means that members are able to play all year round, preventing them from becoming stuck at home during the winter months.
‘I like meeting other people’, Phillips said, adding that after the heart attack he 'slowed down’, so bowls was one of the only sports he was still able to do. This was a common theme among the club members and several said they mainly ‘come to socialise’.
Richmond Park Bowls Club is open to new members of any ability and is contactable by telephone on: 07564 316811. As well as their website: richmondparkbowlsclub.info
Beer and bowls - a match made in heaven. “We come down here and have a pint. We’ll say ‘Do you wanna start?’ and off we go. How sociable is that?”
Bowls is a sport that you associate with the older generation. From a distance it looks boring and slow and not something you’d want to spend your afternoon playing.
However, I went to Richmond Park Bowls Club in Bournemouth and spent the afternoon chatting to the regulars and even getting my hands dirty myself.
When I arrived I was immediately thrown into the deep end as we got straight into the games. I quickly learnt the basics and found out that bowls require skill, accuracy and a good strategy.
One thing that I can guarantee you didn’t know was that a ‘wood’ has a weighted bias in it which allows it to curl while rolling. There’s even a league system with promotion and relegation!
The two ‘pros’ on my team, Kath and Ted, were incredibly kind and helpful and eager to get more people involved with bowls.
After my game I sat down with Ted and we discussed his opinions on the sport.
Ted got into the sport after he retired and wanted something to do to keep himself active. He popped down one day and has been hooked ever since.
Bowls is very accessible for the masses. Despite popular belief even young people play. Ted said: “There was one young lady who was in her teens and then it goes right up to people in their 90s.”
However as of late the population of bowls seems to be on the decline. Ted said: “We used to have a large women's team but now we only have 1 female member.”
Apparently bowls is a great game to play while having a pint as well. Ted said: “Me, Bob and Tommy come down here and have a pint. One of us will say ‘Do you wanna start?’ and off we go. How sociable is that?”
The Richmond Park Bowls Club is a great place to come and have a friendly game of bowls and maybe a pint as well - if you’re walking. The sport of bowls has so much more to it than a boring game full of old people standing around doing nothing.
Bowls is a perfect game for a bit of friendly competition all the while in a pretty relaxed manner physically but with the added benefits of a mental challenge such as the likes of chess or golf.