Unification is on the cards

UNIFICATION of men's and women's bowls is on the agenda for the newly elected Bowls NSW board. It's a move the state body has dithered about with for years while other states have adopted it successfully.

Bowls NSW says now it will "work with Women's Bowls NSW to rationalise and unify the two administrations to achieve economies of scale and consolidate bowls participation".

It aims also to appoint a consultant to review the administration to determine if it is providing the correct services for members in a cost-effective manner.

It will look at the declining membership and consolidate the number of registered bowlers; work with the 16 zones to improve communication; arrange more forums around the state; seek the return of NSW border clubs currently playing for other states.

"While there is no magic wand to use as a panacea, this board brings experience, enthusiasm and energy with a willingness to listen, activate and achieve mutually rewarding results," the announcement says.

Bowls NSW has a new president - Barry Watkins, long-time president and CEO of Cabramatta club. He was elected at the annual general meeting. Deputy president is Dennis Taylor (Harbord).

Big job

ENGLISHMAN John Bell has been re-elected president of World Bowls. One of his jobs is to seek reinstatement of lawn bowls in the Olympic Games.

World Bowls has submitted a readmission application to the International Olympic Committee. Acceptance would mean that once again bowls would be on the Games program after a long absence.

Hard to understand why the sport has been acceptable in the Commonwealth Games and not the Olympics.

Democratic process

FINDING enough members to hold a bowls club meeting is about as difficult as finding capable people who'll submit their names for elections. Many a meeting has to be deferred because the quorum hasn't been reached.

At a recent special meeting of an NRDBA club called to consider changes to the constitution, it was announced happily at the outset that the quorum had been exceeded by one person. The meeting got under way, the vote to change the constitution was properly conducted and resulted in it being defeated.

Later it was claimed that several club employees who were members had voted in contravention of the constitution which states: "No member of the club who is also an employee of the club shall be eligible to vote at any meeting of the club".

So what happens now? This special meeting had the required quorum but the voting is invalid.

Rookie sensation

ROOKIES' singles champion for the Zone One section of the state competition is Brendan Sheppard (Cabarita Beach). He beat Frank Bell (Lennox Head) 17-12 in Saturday's final at Ballina RSL. Sheppard was undefeated in the three rounds.

Sunday's pairs went to South Lismore's Jock Olley/Scott Gough who also made it through undefeated.

The zone winners now will progress to the state finals at Raymond Terrace on Saturday-Sunday week.

Well done

THE reference last week to Lismore Heights rearranging its club championships to encourage lower level bowlers to enter resulted in South Lismore's Clive Tressider telling us: "South Lismore is also running our club triples along a similar system. Each team must have minimum 10 pennant points. It doubled the teams entered. We also introduced a no-smoking policy on our greens earlier this year."

Well done, South Lismore. On both counts.

Vets day

OVER 60 and want a great day of bowls? Then roll up to the Northern Rivers Veterans' day at Coraki on Tuesday. New members are always welcome. Names are to be in early for catering. Contact is Barrie Enright on 66282143.

MY VIEW: on a renewed issue

IT'S BEEN so long since we heard about amalgamation of men's and women's bowls in our state that most bowlers believed it was a too-hard issue pushed under the carpet.

In the deliberations over the years, NSW women have shown they are not to be dominated by the male administration in any unification process. Their refusal to accept some of the proposals has resulted in a deadlock - the long silence on the matter has been the result.

Amalgamation makes sense. Having two administrations is expensive and unproductive.

Many men bowlers think it would mean the two genders would play in the same competitions. So what? It happens now - most tournaments and social days, previously exclusively male, are now thrown open to women.

Playing the game is not the main issue. It's the cost and inconvenience of having two administrations with the same aim - the promotion of bowls.

Bowls NSW's new president has had long experience in the State Attorney-General's department working with judges and the law. Perhaps he can bring a legal solution to what seems to need the wisdom of Solomon.

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