GETTING ON THE BOWLING GREEN: John Lacey is passionate about getting younger people bowling.
GETTING ON THE BOWLING GREEN: John Lacey is passionate about getting younger people bowling. Claudia Williams

Smashing bowls stereotype

WHEN you see an advertisement for a retirement village on TV one of the first things they show is residents playing a game of lawn bowls.

John Lacey and the Kingaroy Bowls Club are determined to break the stereotype that bowls is a recreational sport for retirees.

In 2016 the club introduced a corporate bowls league on a Tuesday night to encourage younger people to get on the bowling green.

Businesses have got behind the league which has has grown from 10 teams of four playing in the first season to 18 teams ready to play this summer.

Lacey, president of the bowls club, said it had been a success with the club attracting eight new members as a result.

"As I have said before it is not an old people sport, the younger ones are starting to get into it and we are trying to encourage that,” Lacey said.

"They have thoroughly enjoyed it and the enthusiasm from all the teams has been fantastic.

"It is a Tuesday night when the club is not usually open so it is bring revenue to the club.”

The club has been a hub for the Kingaroy community since it first opened in 1937 as a place for the peanut growers to come together.

Lacey believes the club continues to be an important community asset.

"The future is not looking fantastic but it is looking promising,” he said.

The club is looking to introduce a junior league on Saturday's but bowls struggles to compete with the likes of rugby league and football.

Lacey believes this is because people see bowls as a recreational activity rather than a commonwealth games sport.

"If we can get a junior competition going it gives us a pool to work on and you have got to have a junior competition to grow the club,” he said.

The club is also encouraging the community to have a game of barefoot bowls on Friday nights with a free game when a meal is purchased.

"It is referred to as bowl and giggle because with barefoot bowls you are there to have fun,” Lacey said.

"The only way the club is going to go ahead is by people supporting these nights and competitions.”

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