Bowls set to get back on a roll

By Andrew Johnston

AFTER an extended layoff, the bowling greens of Echuca-Moama are once again coming to life, though not in full competition.

Moama Bowling Club has announced it is taking steps towards allowing players to return to play.

In an email on Monday, the club announced it was moving towards opening the clubhouse and bowling greens on June 1.

Sports Venue Manager Zane Mikin-Laurie said the club was excited for bowls to come back.

“It's going to be great to get back to the basics of being on the green and having a roll,” he said.

“We are a bowling club first, so we are really happy to provide that opportunity again, and to do so in a safe manner within the guidelines we have been provided.”

Mikin-Laurie said the end of the season was a disappointment for all involved in the club.

“It's been a long couple of months,” he said.

“We didn't get to hold our major May carnival, nor did Echuca, so we missed a time where a lot of players from around Australia travelled to play here which was disappointing.

“But that's the reality of what we were faced with, and now we are simply hoping to play as much as we can.”

It comes after fellow local bowls clubs Rich River and City of Echuca began a partial reopening of their facilities with strong restrictions in place.

Rich River officially opened their greens on May 19, with practice and roll-up play.

Two greens have been opened, with four rinks and a maximum of two players to each rink, allowing eight players at a time to play on each green.

In accordance with restrictions all players have been required to provide contact details to allow for follow-up if required.

Bowls president Margaret Griffiths said the club was doing what they could.

“We are naturally very limited, we are practicing social distancing and making sure we are as safe as we can be,” she said.

“But we are all excited to be back on the greens. A lot of people, including a number of our women who would typically bowl indoors at this time of year, have taken the opportunity to resume play and it's been fantastic for them.”

City of Echuca has been operating with 10 bowlers permitted on the greens, while the jack and mats have been disinfected, and hand sanitiser has been in regular use.

The bowls sub-committee of the club will soon meet to plan a return of limited club competition, which is likely to run until June 22, when the next easing of restrictions is expected.