Wednesday, April 17, 2024

$1.5m cover for bowling club’s greens

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Howick Bowling Club vice president, Noeline Sadgrove, left, and president Brian Jago are excited about a large cover being constructed over two of the club’s greens. Times photo Wayne Martin

People who love the sport of bowls can look forward to being able to play it year-round and in all weather conditions at an east Auckland club.

Howick Bowling Club is set to have a large roof with sides, known as a ‘cover’, constructed over the two artificial greens at its Selwyn Road site at a cost of almost $1.5 million and it hopes the work will be completed this year.

Club president Brian Jago says the club has five greens in total, three of which are grass and used mainly for play during summer months.

Its two artificial greens are used during winter.

“But the difficulty is it if it rains it’s too wet to play and in winter that restricts the amount of time we’re able to play.”

The club has obtained resource consent to install the cover and is waiting for the building consent to come through.

Auckland Bowls is the project’s largest funder, with additional money provided by Auckland Council and Howick Local Board, Jago says.

“The balance comes from within the bowling club and we’ve got those funds set aside for it.”

He says the project will make a big difference to how the club operates.

“It will be the only place in Auckland that has two covered greens.

“I would anticipate once the building consent is issued, we would start the work within about a month to six weeks.

“Once they start, the time for building it is around eight weeks, if everything goes according to plan.”

The cover will protect the two artificial greens from the elements but it will also feature indoor lights, increasing playing times.

“That means club members or those wishing to join who are workers will be able to come down here in the evening and play bowls,” Jago says.

Club vice president Noeline Sadgrove says she hopes the cover will be in place by the end of the year.

She’s looking forward to people being able to play even when it’s raining.

“A big plus about this is all those who work during the week want something to do in the evening.

“It’s a facility for parents of young children to come along and play bowls and have a drink, so the bowls isn’t just for people our age.

“It’s going to be available for workers and there are quite a lot of families living in Howick.

“We’ve got some bowls younger children can use and learn how to play as well.”

Jago says the “whole objective” of having the cover installed is to make it more attractive for people to play bowls.

“Because we’ll be putting lights in it will mean there’s more playing time available and people won’t have to stop when it gets dark.

“It will make it more attractive to Bowls NZ and Auckland Bowls to run competitions here so we’ll have more visitors in our community.”

The club’s resource consent states it must cease play by 9.30pm so there’s no impact on neighbours and the cover will be below the road level, Jago says.

“It will enable us to run more social- or corporate-type bowls and for people to run a business house competition.

“We’ve got some very good clubrooms with good facilities and this will top it up and make it far more attractive.

“It’s a very exciting development for offering the community some additional recreational facilities all year round and all day long and into the evening.”

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