Residents bowled over by club’s community spirit
AS PART of his job as sports co-ordinator at Cherry Street Sports Club in Ballina, Kris Lehfeldt is in charge of looking after the bowls players.
It’s a job he takes very seriously, especially now, while players are unable to enjoy a game due to coronavirus restrictions.
Since the virus shut down the club several weeks ago, Mr Lehfeldt hasn’t been able to hit the greens, so he hit the phones – working his way through the bowling club’s members, calling each and every one to check in, have a chat, and make sure they are doing OK.
“Most of our bowlers are stuck at home,” he said.
“Many of them have lost their partners, and for many of them, bowls is a very big and important part of their lives.
“I knew that the restrictions would hit some of them hard, so we wanted to reach out and check in, see if there is anything they need, or just have a nice chat.”
Mr Lehfeldt started with a list of the male bowlers, working his way through, alphabetically.
“I’m up to the letter S,” he said.
“Once I finish the men, I will start on the list of our female bowlers.”
Kris says the phone calls have been a hit with members.
“Most of them are missing that companionship, so it’s nice to have a chat and a laugh,” he said.
“I share ideas of what members are doing to stay connected, practising bowls on their driveway, painting, gardening tips, that kind of thing.
“I take their advice and pass it on to others. And if someone needs a helping hand, I can identify that and get them what they need.”
The phone calls are just one of the ways Cherry Street Sports is reaching out to its members to help them through these unprecedented times.
Their home delivered meals and online meat raffles are both proving extremely popular, and they help fund the half priced member meals the club provides.
Malcolm Lowe has been a member of the club most of his life, and has been missing his friends, but has been enjoying the online raffles, and regularly has meals delivered to his home.
“They are a great bunch at the club,” Mr Lowe said.
“They do a really great job for the community. The meals are terrific, and I just can’t say enough in praise of the whole team there.”