NEW IDEAS: Nimbin local legend and club licensee Bob Dooley at the Nimbin Bowling Club. PHOTO: PATRICK GORBUNOVS
NEW IDEAS: Nimbin local legend and club licensee Bob Dooley at the Nimbin Bowling Club. PHOTO: PATRICK GORBUNOVS

Nimbin Bowlo fights for survival

THE Nimbin Bowling Club has been going since 1928 and like many other bowling clubs in the region, its fortunes change from month to month.

"We have basically been trying to keep the doors open for the last five years and we are not out of the woods yet," said licensee Bob Dooley.

"The biggest challenge is getting bums on seats.

"One of our major challenges is the demographic; there is a perception that bowls is a game for retirees.

"We are making the club more inclusive by putting on barefoot bowls and offering $5 per year membership, with a free beer on your birthday.

The club has 11 poker machines but management found revenue from these often controversial money spinners has dropped off in recent times.

"You can no longer rely on the discretionary spending of gamblers as the GFC in 2008 ensured that people were more cautious with their spending.

"So in 2009 we restructured so that we were not so dependent on the pokies."

Mr Dooley said the formula for survival is local volunteerism with committee members contributing to the maintenance and upkeep of the club.

"It's all part of looking at small scale solutions to the challenges facing us," he said.

"Many of our committee have obtained their Responsible Service of Alcohol qualification to work in the club as volunteers."

"They also help with the ongoing activities and entertainment."

"For instance at our open mic jam session, one committee member provides the sound system and another provides the drum kit"

"Another committee member also runs our very popular Saturday night trivia."

The upkeep of the bowling greens, which take up two thirds of the club's land, is also expensive

"Our greens are out of commission for one month each year between mid-December and mid-January," he said.

"This makes it hard for the club as that's our main source of revenue.

"But on the positive side it is still one of the only sports where you can drink and smoke on the playing surface in a social game."



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