LAWN BOWLS: A SPORT FOR ALL AGES, ALL SEXES AND ALL ABILITIES
[ Re-printed below is an article written by the club's past-president, Derrick Plummer,
and published last year in the 'YOUR ELMBRIDGE' Magazine. ]
A new outdoor bowls season is upon us, and there are few more pleasant ways to spend a summer afternoon than playing
a game of bowls with the sun on your back.
First let's dispel the old adage that it's 'a game for old men'. It's a game for young men, which old men (and women)
can still play. Actually the age of the England bowls team for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi later this year is younger
than the England Football team, and their training almost as rigorous. Of the top ranked 16 men in the world, all bar one
started playing as a teenager.
So, having got that out the way. What about the rest of us? Clearly, if you want to play at the highest level, like most sports,
you need to start early, but for many of us bowls is a game we come to when we have finished playing football, or more likely,
when we no longer work full time and have more leisure time. Whilst it may be a bit late to become National Champion you can
still reach a very acceptable standard, and perhaps more importantly, have a lot of fun in friendly company.
Bowls is a relatively cheap game compared to other sports, and an annual subscription to your local club quite modest.
Like many games, the object of bowls is essentially simple. It can be played by anyone, but to play consistently demands determination,
concentration and practice.
Players take turns to deliver their bowls from a mat at one end of the green towards a small white ball called a jack at the other end.
The bowls are shaped so that they take a curved path towards the jack. To be successful the bowls must be delivered with the
correct weight, and along the correct line.
Sounds simple? It's been said that it is a game that takes five minutes to learn and a lifetime to perfect. The game can be played,
one on one, as a singles match, or most regularly in teams of three or four players on each side.
Bowls is a very sociable game, and at Walton we have a regular informal club evening every Tuesday from 6pm, when free tuition facilities
are available and the evening ends with a BBQ. The club-house provides bar facilities and has groups that meet to play bridge and darts.
If you would like to know more about bowls, either come along on a Tuesday evening to Walton on Thames Bowling Club
at Elm Grove Recreation Ground in Hersham Road, Walton or visit www.waltonbowlingclub.co.uk.