Urbenville bowling club steps up in gender equality battle

URBENVILLE club, in a veiled threat to transfer to Queensland, has told the state body it wants women bowlers to be part of the RNSWBA.

In a letter it also has sent to the district, the club says if women were accepted, it might steer their association towards amalgamation "which we all want".

"If that is unconstitutional, perhaps it is time for changes to the constitution," the club's letter says.

"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, which has just nine bowling members and is the smallest of the Northern Rivers district's 18 affiliated clubs, says these were matters that might be considered by all levels of administration, even Bowls Australia.

It says its proposal to have women accepted by the RNSWBA in the same way as their male counterparts was made "in view of current anti-discrimination laws".

The letter adds: "As it is a common situation that most ladies, as potential bowlers, are in employment, it would seem ridiculous that official women's bowls occurs on weekdays when many of them are not available except on Sunday, which tends to be for men only except for mixed carnivals."

Pennants

NORTHERN Rivers district championships will continue in the usual way after a proposal to have them divided into east-west sections was overturned at the delegates' meeting. It is understood the state vetoed the move to have east-west district champions compete at zone level.

As advised last week, the coming season's pennants also will follow the usual format.

ROLLING ALONG: Ben McCall, of South Lismore, finished second in this year’s Northern Rivers District Bowler of the Year standings.
ROLLING ALONG: Ben McCall, of South Lismore, finished second in this year’s Northern Rivers District Bowler of the Year standings. Patrick Gorbunovs

Kris the best

THE Northern Rivers District Bowler of the Year is Ballina's Kris Lehfeldt. He won the award with 61 points. Runner-up was Ben McCall, of South Lismore, with 49 points.

Junior Bowler of Year is Luke Jones (Evans Head) with 47 points - 13 ahead of Zac Cottam (Alstonville). These two won the State junior pairs.

Luke Jones is one of four finalists in the NSW Junior Bowler of the Year award - the winner to be announced with other state awards on January 22. His state opposition is Dylan Cuthbert (Merimbula-Imlay), Dylan Skinner (Mt Lewis) and Corey Wedlock (Urunga).

Grafton is one of five clubs chosen as finalists in the state's Best Performed Club section. The Clarence River club is up against some powerful money-loaded southern opposition in St Johns Park, Taren Point, Belrose and Harbord.

The NSW Bowler of the Year will come from John Green (Taren Point), Wayne Turley (Taren Point), Ben Twist (St Johns Park) and Ray Pearse (Alexandria-Erskineville).

Green, a 51-year-old member of the State squad, has raised $71,000 (he started by hoping it would be $20,000) for blood cancer research from his 75km walk from Taren Point to Corrimal. Apart from aching feet, it's been a big year for Green - he won his second South Pacific singles and was part of the NSW side that won the Alley Shield.

Bowls, with two of the five finalists, was well served in this year's NSW Athlete of the Year awards decided by the NSW Sports Federation. Karen Murphy and Aron Sheriff, with outstanding national and international performances, were strong contenders, but the award went to Jessica Fox for her efforts in canoe slalom.

Jackpots

MANY clubs, in their bid to increase playing numbers, use a jackpot as a means of creating interest. If the prize - usually a nominated margin - does not go off, the prize jackpots until the next social day.

The system attracts a few mercenary types who whinge when the club cancels the jackpot because not enough bowlers have attended.

Their complaints have some justification. If the club accepts players on the understanding there is a jackpot, it should stand by its enticement, regardless of the number who turn up.

Otherwise, it might be regarded as false advertising.

Boom boom!

A PRIEST mate during a phone call from Sydney asked if I could arrange a donation of some sets of bowls to be sent to Africa.

I told him I'd be pleased to help the advancement of the game in Africa.

"We don't want them to play with," the priest said. "We want to make rosary beads for elephants."



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