Melville and Mt Pleasant bowls clubs prepared to work together with council to secure future of sport in area say presidents

Melville and Mt Pleasant bowls clubs prepared to work together with council to secure future of sport in area say presidents

PRESIDENTS of both the Melville and Mt Pleasant bowling clubs are prepared to work with the council to secure the future of lawn bowls in Melville, even if that means shifting from their current locations.

Both Gary McCormack (Melville) and Steve Nankiville (Mt Pleasant) acknowledged participation in weekend pennant competitions was dwindling.

While both men also claimed interest in social bowls was strong, and their clubs remained financially viable, they said a combination of declining participation in the sport and the value of the land their clubs currently occupied meant some kind of move was close to inevitable.

“We have been meeting with council for two or three years now and initially they wanted us to shift across to the Tompkins Park complex,” Mr McCormack said.

“We discussed and negotiated it for a long time but then members got wind of it and hammered the council about not shifting the club and we were left alone for the time being.

“Of course we would like to stay where we are for as long as we can but we realise that it is inevitable that (a move) is going to happen.”

Mr Nankiville said in an ideal world Mt Pleasant Bowling Club would also remain at its current location but the now-shelved shift to Shirley Strickland Reserve was a strong alternative.

“We would dearly love to stay where we are but we are also very much aware it’s an extremely old building and takes a reasonable amount of upkeep,” he said.

“Council is not likely to offer a new building at our current site and so a very close second to that would be getting brand new premises at Shirley Strickland; I see very many positives for that outcome too.”

In light of decreased participation, both men also conceded they might be forced to consider an amalgamation or co-location of the two clubs, although there is no consensus on where that might occur.

“We would prefer not to co-locate with Mt Pleasant but if it gets down to having to move to a brand new premises and amalgamating we would prefer it to happen at Tompkins Park,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr Nankiville said Mt Pleasant and Ardross were the “spiritual home” of his club and he would not support a co-location at Tompkins Park.

“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with the council all the way through this process and certainly haven’t showed any negativity to moving but we’re a strong and proud club and wouldn’t support a move away from the district,” he said.