Syston Bowling Club Formally Open Their Clubhouse Extensions

The latest phase in developing as one of the best Clubs in the County
In a short but impressive ceremony, attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood Borough Council, Councillor Paul Day and his wife Pauline, Syston Bowling Club officially opened their £50,000 extension to their changing room and toilet facilities together with the disabled access ramp running between the clubhouse and the green. Also in attendance at the ceremony held on 13th September were Aileen Rowden and Deepak Tanna, Joint Presidents of Bowls Leicestershire.
Club Chairman, Colin Grimes, after welcoming a packed clubhouse and the special guests, thanked National Lottery, Sport England Inspired Facilities fund, part of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme, for the grant of £40000 to help meet the cost of the extension project. He also praised all those within the membership who had responded in such a positive manner both to the appeal to meet the balance of funds needed for completion and the call for voluntary labour to carry out a deal of the construction and internal fittings work. He paid a very special tribute to the selfless contribution made by Premises Director, George Dodge and Club Captain, Myles Clare whose unstinting and selfless commitment to the project had exceeded all reasonable expectations.
He also thanked Lafarge Tarmac, through the Landfill Communities Trust Fund, whose grant enabled the installation of the disabled access ramp.
He spoke of the Club’s desire, as current custodians of a very important community recreational resource, to develop into one of the best Clubs in the County. He explained that Syston had traditionally been admired for the warmth of the hospitality offered to visitors. .Over recent years a great deal of money had been invested in bringing the quality of the green up to standard. The opening of the clubhouse extension and the disabled ramp had successfully addressed two further problems of comfort and access which had previously diminished the visitor experience.
Only one serious hurdle now remained – the lack of visitor parking within the confines of the Park close to the clubhouse. He pointed out that this lack of facility, unique among Clubs in the County, causes difficulties in persuading teams to visit Syston. “Those that do are left with a less than flattering image of the Town as a result,” he said. “Our more elderly players and ladies’ teams, in particular, find the task of carrying heavy bags from street parking spots – when they can be found – to the clubhouse, often over quite considerable distances, quite exhausting.”
He went on to express the hope that in the immediate future, based on a common desire to make Syston an attractive place to visit and shop, and to develop high-quality recreational facilities, the Club and the Town Council could continue to work closely together to find a mutually acceptable solution to this problem which seriously inhibits Club growth and development and does nothing to enhance the reputation of Syston as a town.
He went on to stress the Club’s commitment, as a registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), to an “open door policy” and to the “Three F’s” – Fitness, Friendship and Fun – that the sport of bowling offers to both sexes of all ages. He stressed “Bowling is a sport where men and women, the young and the not-so-young can truly compete on equal terms. With the benefit of two specialised wheelchairs, purchased with grants from the Charnwood Community Forum and Red Nose funds, we are enabled to open the sport to those whose disabilities prevent them from becoming involved in other sports.
Our sport suffers from a general lack of positive media exposure, which makes our task of promoting the sport – especially to the younger members of our local community – very difficult. In line with Government policy, to motivate our youngsters into getting involved in sport, we are very keen to engage with local youth groups, schools and Colleges to stimulate interest. This will be a priority in the year ahead.”
In conclusion, he issued a warm invitation to all members of the communities of Syston and neighbouring villages, irrespective of age, to come forward and join with the Club in the great game of bowls, guaranteeing everyone who responded the warmest of welcomes.
Following brief supportive addresses from the Mayor Paul Day and President Deepak Tanna, Club Life Member, Marjorie Clowes, made a short and emotional speech recalling those who had been closely involved in the building of the original clubhouse in 1984 and expressing the deep sense of honour she felt at being invited to launch this next stage in Club development. After the cutting of the traditional red ribbon, visitors were invited to inspect the new facilities before moving on to the green to watch the first of the games in the Club’s Competitions Finals Weekend.