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Greens are go for bowls, at a distance

Bowls | Published:

A Shropshire Premier League club led the way – in more ways than one – when it came to reopening of greens.

Forward-thinking Wrockwardine Wood Bowls Club in Telford have returned to bowls while socially distancing. In Picture: Sophie Meredith (Secretary) and Jamie King (Member)

Wrockwardine Wood’s bowlers were allowed back on the Telford club’s two greens from day one on Wednesday, thanks to the efforts of chairperson Steve Roberts and secretary Sophie Meredith.

They carried out a risk assessment and also devised an online bookings system for members to be allocated practice times, all in the space of 24 hours.

“A risk assessment has been completed and we have created an online booking service on the club’s website to ensure we comply with the BCGBA guidelines for reopening,” said a Wrockites spokesperson.

And then Roberts and Meredith helped a number of other Shropshire clubs to set up their own booking-in system, which is required so that everyone is traceable.

“We have received some very positive feedback, both internal and external, regarding our swift and initiative approach to opening our greens safely – and for this we should be really proud as a club,” added the spokesperson.

Not all Shropshire clubs have been able to reopen their greens, for a number of reasons, but among those that were quick off the mark were Bylet, Trench and Bridgnorth.

Meanwhile, a leading Shropshire league is giving its clubs direct financial support as they continue to be short of significant income due to the coronavirus.

The Molson Coors Mid Shropshire League has granted all of its 26 member clubs £42.50 each to effectively pay this year’s BCGBA affiliation fee (£35), Shropshire affiliation fee (£5) and the BCGBA Handbook (£2.50) that every affiliated club has to buy annually.

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“It’s a gesture the league can afford and officers hope that it is one that is accepted as a show of appreciation of our clubs, who are the lifeblood of the league,” said secretary Malcolm Fletcher.

Clubs were notified of the news direct by email, in which the Telford-based league’s plans for the rest of the summer were outlined. “The next step as far as the league is concerned is to canvas all clubs for their views on a possible return of competitive fixtures – hopefully in July and in whatever form,” added Fletcher. “To that end, a questionnaire will be sent to all clubs next week asking for feedback.

“But at the moment club officials have enough on their plate trying to organise phase one of the re-opening of greens, which could be cancelled at short notice if virus figures take a turn for the worse.”

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