Clubs need to lift their game

BOWLS isn’t the only sport to be hit by declining numbers.

And, according to published figures, the participant drain has spread beyond sport to community service organisations.

NSW lost 2274 registered bowlers last year, while Queensland was down about 2000.

But the Brisbane Sunday Mail says service clubs in the northern State also are wilting under a lack of numbers.

Apex there has lost thousands and is down to just 300 members.

Two decades ago, there were 400 Apex clubs in Queensland – now there’s 59.

Apex Queensland president Richard Colwell says few young people want to sign up with service clubs.

A Rotary spokesman blamed modern business pressure.

His club had 250 members when he joined in 1978. Now ithas about 54.

Clubs Queensland says a dozen golf and amateur sports clubs are folding every year because of ‘growing amounts of red tape, increasing costs and a shortage of leisure time’.

The first woman at the head of Bowls Queensland, Cynthia Neeve, believes bowls is affected because more people are staying longer in employment.

She said even retirees were being kept busy looking after grandchildren.

“So we’ve got a problem,” she says.

Sunshine Coast district association secretary Nev Linde reports that despite a growing population in the booming holiday area, 5000 bowlers have been lost in the past five years.

The answer is simple, Linde told the newspaper: Clubs need to lift their game.

“A lot of our bowls clubs aren’t up to standard,” he says, warning that within 10 years many would be closing their doors.

There’s a bright note though – surf lifesaving in Queensland has signed up almost 10,000 new members since 2000.

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