19 Dec 2008

Calls to cut number of bowls clubs

1:08 pm on 19 December 2008

The game of bowls in New Zealand is in crisis according to it own governing body and there are calls to slash the number of clubs.

Bowls New Zealand says more than 80% of clubs have fewer than 100 members and traditional memberships are continuing to decline.

A joint report between Bowls Wellington and the Wellington City council has put forward the idea that the number of clubs in the capital should be more than halved.

Bowls Wellington chairman Trevor McComish said with a 30% decrease in bowls membership in just over ten years, the sport urgently needs to rationalise.

"Fewer clubs means that we can concentrate our strengths in fewer locations, to give us stronger clubs, to make them more attractive to new players," he said.

Mr McComish said the sport's stuffy image also needs addressing.