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Urbenville bowlers still battling state for gender equality

TIME FOR CHANGE: Back row, Lorraine Stubbings (women’s vice president), Lyn Mulcahy, Sylvia Mulcahy (women’s treasurer), Colleen Scofield (women’s president); (front Row) Danny Mulcahy (bowling club president), Brian Mulcahy, with Paul Howard (green keeper and one of the club directors), Members of the Urbenville bowling club want to amalgamate its men and women’s clubs to enable it to survive.
TIME FOR CHANGE: Back row, Lorraine Stubbings (women’s vice president), Lyn Mulcahy, Sylvia Mulcahy (women’s treasurer), Colleen Scofield (women’s president); (front Row) Danny Mulcahy (bowling club president), Brian Mulcahy, with Paul Howard (green keeper and one of the club directors), Members of the Urbenville bowling club want to amalgamate its men and women’s clubs to enable it to survive. Doug Eaton

TINY Urbenville club - 12 men, 10 women - is still waiting for a reply from the state body to the submission Urbenville made last December on matters it said were of concern to all levels of administration.

The club asked "in view of current anti-discrimination laws" to have women as RNSWBA members.

It pointed out that "it would seem ridiculous" that women's bowls was played on weekdays when many were available only on Sundays, which tended to be men only.

"If sufficient numbers of lady bowlers were to join as RNSWBA members throughout the state, it may steer the NSW Women's Bowling Association towards amalgamation, which we all want," said Urbenville's letter.

"If that is unconstitutional, perhaps it is time for changes to the constitution.

"An alternative would be for us to join Queensland where amalgamation already occurs.

"Apart from Bonalbo and Kyogle, our nearest brother clubs are in Queensland."

Urbenville executive secretary Brian Mulcahy said the club had received no reply from the state body. His club was still waiting for it.

In a Northern Star interview last December, Mulcahy said the club had invited women to join in men's weekend play to make up the numbers.

The club was amalgamated "in all but name", with women holding senior positions on the board for several years.

"We've got to do this for our survival," he said.

Opinion: RNSWBA can't afford to ignore Urbenville

URBENVILLE may have struck a touchy chord at the state top level with its mention of men-women bowls amalgamation.

The RNSWBA has been dithering with the issue for years and is no closer to reaching a conclusion. It must hate having a tiny bush club giving it a reminder of this.

As the Urbenville secretary says, Queensland - a lot closer than Sydney - has gender amalgamation; so do many other states. 

But the Royal, as it does with other touchy topics (smoking on the greens during play, for instance), sidesteps the issue in the hope it will go away. 

There was a veiled threat in the Urbenville letter to the RNSWBA. It talks of an alternative being for the club to join the Queensland state association and take advantage of the amalgamation situation there.

Would that worry the RNSWBA? It should. With playing numbers continuing to decline, NSW can't afford to lose one person.

It's difficult to understand - or is it, considering the amalgamation impasse? - why the state body hasn't replied to Urbenville's letter. We keep being told how the RNSWBA is keen to have contact with bowlers.

Lennox event shows bowlo fighting back

TWEED-Byron past presidents took home the Hulbert-Bonnor Trophy after a resounding 154-117 victory over their Far North Coast counterparts at Lennox Head.

The event showed that Lennox Head's struggle to keep its doors open is paying off.

The greens ran well, the well-kept clubhouse had a large contingent of card-playing locals; the food was the best I've tasted in any club. There's every confidence that Lennox Head is well on its way back.

It also is encouraging to see the other club that has continued to operate under adversity, Lismore Workers Heights, has de-amalgamated with Lismore Workers and is confident of being around for a long time.

The Heights Super Friday Pairs has passed its fifth successful year and this event's continued popularity indicates bowlers will support the club when it is in full operation.

Victoria looks at changes to fee structure

BOWLS Victoria is shifting away from individual capitation fees to a fixed fee structure for clubs.

The move was discussed at the State Consultative Body meeting attended by delegates from all states and Bowls Australia. They were reported to be following the Victorian model "with great interest".

The State Consultative Committee meets bi-annually to discuss bowls' hot topics.

"Right now is a pivotal time in the future sustainability of the sport and for us to be able to have face-to-face and robust discussions about the current and future activity," said Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple.

Dot Eggins from Ballina RSL Bowling Club with Ann Brown from Ballina Cherry Street Bowling Club competing in the Ladies Club Championships singles bowls event at Alstonville Bowling Club last Friday.
Dot Eggins from Ballina RSL Bowling Club with Ann Brown from Ballina Cherry Street Bowling Club competing in the Ladies Club Championships singles bowls event at Alstonville Bowling Club last Friday. Doug Eaton

Workers bowls tournament a good move

GREAT to see tiny Lismore Workers Sport staging a bowls tournament when many of the larger clubs are shying away from such events for fear of their not being filled.

I played in one day of the two-dayer at the weekend and was agreeably impressed. The little club has a top-class artificial green and a shed-full of hard-working volunteers.

If you're looking for a friendly bowls day out in pleasant surroundings, you'll get a hearty welcome up at Goonellabah.

Advice for newcomers

WHEN a bowls newcomer takes up the game, he is besieged with advice from all and sundry.

The best advice he can be given is to listen to one person, and one person only, otherwise confusion will reign.

The tyro should find a bowler who has a record to show he can play the game, and learn from him.

Disabled award

IF YOU have a disabled bowler in your club who has excelled in the game, he could be in line for Bowls NSW's 2014 Disabled Bowler of the Year Award.

The state body has just opened nominations for this category and the winner will be presented at the annual awards ceremony on February 4.

The form is available here.

Topics:  bowling, urbenville




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