Weston tournaments in doubt

Clarence v St Andrews.

Clarence v St Andrews. - Credit: Archant

THe future of Weston’s two big open bowls tournaments is in doubt due to falling numbers.

THE future of Weston’s two big open bowls tournaments is in doubt because of a continuing drop in the number of entries.

Both tournaments, which are staged in Clarence Park, used to attract hundreds of competitors from all over the country. But numbers have been dwindling steadily and this could be the last year of the ladies’ event, which has been running since 1953.

The men’s tournament, which is at the end of June, is in its 94th year and entries for the 2015 competitions so far are a third down on 2014.

Both events are organised by Clarence Bowling Club, whose captain this year, David Stott, is also the tournament registrar.

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He said: “There is a serious danger that the bowls world is going to lose one of the oldest tournaments in the country. A combination of falling entries and lack of sponsorship is seriously threatening the existence of both tournaments.

“We have sufficient reserves to run perhaps five or six more tournaments before we run out of money (projected loss this year being around £2,500) and the ladies’ open could be facing its final year this year.”

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He added: “We have excellent backing from local opticians Optika and some other sponsors, but we can’t go on losing money at the current rate. We have tried revamping the format of the ladies’ tournament to try to encourage more people to play, but that doesn’t seem to have worked. This year’s ladies’ tournament, from August 23-29, could well be the last.”

Entries for the men’s tournament, from June 21-27, close on May 3, although entries for the Sunday triples can be accepted until June 7. Entry forms for both tournaments can be downloaded from the website, www.westonbowlstournament.org

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