Latest Press News

Scarborough Bowls Centre
Peasholm Road
YO12 7TT

01723 353992

Scarborough Bowls Centre Celebrates its 21st Anniversary
England International and World Bowls Champion Andy Thomson and the Chief Executive of EIBA Peter Thompson recently joined The Mayor & Mayoress of Scarborough and members of Scarborough Indoor Bowls Club to help celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the opening of the Scarborough Bowls Centre.

Opened in November 1989, the Centre was a new purpose-built facility provided by Scarborough Borough Council and was warmly welcomed by the hundreds of Scarborough Bowlers, who, until then had never enjoyed a permanent home for indoor bowling, having previously used various temporary locations for many years.

Built adjacent to Alexandra Gardens, which included 2 Crown Greens created in the early 20th Century, the Centre, commanding spectacular views over the picturesque North Bay is still unique in the country in offering both indoor and crown green facilities on the same site.

Ten years after its opening, however, the future of the Scarborough Bowls Centre looked bleak. Problems with the lighting, ventilation and the variable level of the indoor rinks saw the usage of the Centre fall dramatically. The local Council were seriously considering using the building for alternative uses.

Local bowlers then approached the Council and after several months of negotiation, a partnership was formed and £100,000 pounds was spent on new lighting, ventilation, a wooden laser levelled rink and carpet.

Managed by a team of dedicated bowlers, the Centre was re-opened in September 2003 and has gone from strength to strength.

Welcomed by Tony Simmonds, the current chairman of the managing board, Andy Thomson, who opened the refurbished centre in 2003 said that he was delighted to be back in Scarborough to help celebrate this milestone in the life of the Centre and congratulated everyone involved in creating a world-class facility and ensuring the future of indoor bowls in the area.
A celebrity bowls match then followed, between teams headed by Andy Thomson and local England International player Carole McLean It was a closely fought match with Andy's team just winning by 1 point.

Over fifty invited guests, including founder committee members, current directors, club officials and council officials, then enjoyed a superb Celebration Lunch provided by the in-house catering company.
The Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough, Councillor Hazel Lynskey then proposed a toast to the future of the Centre and cut a celebration cake.

In the evening members from the under 18's section were delighted to meet Andy and to have the opportunity to receive tips on bowling and even play against him. They were also delighted to be presented with their Bronze Level Certificates by Andy.

Mr Scarborough Opens 21st Anniversary Celebrations for Under 18's and Bowls n' Buggies
As part of the celebrations to mark the 21st Anniversary of the opening of Scarborough Bowls Centre, the under 18's section and members of Bowl's & Buggies were delighted to welcome Mr Scarborough, David Cooper, who opened the proceedings on Saturday 27th November.
David was keen to try out the game of bowls and after a little instruction from one of the coaches, soon proved that he had natural talent for the game.

Afterwards he watched 19 juniors enter the 'School of Excellence' skills tests in which each player scored points for completing different skills.
He went on to meet members of the Bowl's 'n Buggies club which meets every Saturday morning and caters for people with special needs. Member Michael Garton, a sufferer of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, was pleased to show David his Special Achievement Award trophy he had just been awarded by Scarborough & District Sports Council for his winning of a Gold medal at a singles competition held at Leeds Indoor Bowls Centre.

Afterwards, chairman, Tony Simmonds, thanked David for joining in with the celebrations and hoped that the Centre could welcome him back soon as a prospective member.

Michael Garton wins Special Achievement Award
At the 2010 Sports Awards Evening, organinised by Scarborough & District Sports Council, local bowler Michael Garton, 22, was presented with the Special Achievement Award by guest of honour Sam Greetham, a local coach and director of British swimming.

A member of Scarborough's 'Bowls & Buggies' club, Michael recently won a Gold medal at a singles competition held at Leeds Indoor Bowls Centre, for people with learning difficulties. He was invited to compete in this annual event, which is organised for the Special Olympics by Marie Nicholson.
Thirty-one players from the Yorkshire area played three games of seven ends with the top two players playing a final.
Michael together with Steven Nicholson from Leeds won all three of their games and in the final he was the winner with a score of 11 shots to 4.

Soon afterwards, Michael went on to win the 'Bowls & Buggies' Singles Tournament held at Scarborough.

A sufferer of Autistic Spectrum Disorder since birth, Michael experiences high anxiety and has had problems with social interaction and communication.

Michael started playing bowls at the age of 17 and says that the social interaction and camaraderie afforded by the game has helped him enormously including improving his ability to concentrate and to be more adaptable.He enjoys working as a team and discovering the various aspects of gamesmanship. His determination and dedication to the game has resulted in his recent achievements.

Chris Turnbull, who was nominated for Adult Male Sports Achiever came third in this category against some strong and very talented competition.

The proceedings were closed by The Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough, Cllr Hazel Lynskey, who congratulated all the winners and expressed delight in the fact that Scarborough has so many highly talented sports men and women of all ages.

Third National Title this Year for Chris Turnbull
Chris Turnbull, Scarborough Indoor and Snainton bowler, achieved his third Visually Impaired bowling title this year, by winning the National Singles at Royal Leamington Spa last week.

Chris competed in a round robin with 9 other bowlers winning 7, drawing 1 and losing the last match. With all the other players losing at least 2 games Chris gained his third national title within 6 months.

Chris started collecting National Awards during 2010 by winning the National Pairs at Scarborough with Mike Worden of Gravesend in February followed, by the National Triples with John Rix and John Newcombe of Pennine at Cheltenham in May.

Bowls England, with Tony Allcott as patron of the Visually Impaired Bowlers, announced that the Championships would move to Worthing for 2011, 2012 and they (Bowls England) would organise the World Blind Bowls Championships at Worthing in 2013.

Rain doesn't stop Yorkshire Cricketers Bowling
Members of the Yorkshire County Cricket team, Richard Pyrah, Anthony McGrath, Tim Bresnan and Oliver Hannon-Dalby being shown the measuring technique by Albert Mouser
Torrential rain during Scarborough's Cricket Festival did not stop members of the Yorkshire County Cricket Team from getting some practice in at bowling.
The whole Yorkshire squad took over 2 rinks at the nearby Scarborough Bowls Centre and after Albert Mouser from the Centre, gave those that had never played before a quick introductory lesson they went on to enjoy an hours indoor bowling.
Afterwards last year's Captain Anthony McGrath thanked the staff for their help and promised to be back as the team had thoroughly enjoyed a new competitive challenge.

Scarborough 'Bowls & Buggies' member wins Gold Medal
The three competitors from Scarborough's 'Bowls & Buggies' Club,
L-R Jonathan Crookes, Edward Spencer and the gold medal winner Michael Garton
A member of Scarborough's 'Bowls & Buggies' club, Michael Garton, recently won a Gold medal at a singles competition held at Leeds Indoor Bowls Centre, for people with learning difficulties.
Michael, along with fellow club members Edward Spencer and Jonathan Crookes, were invited to compete in this
annual event, which is organised for the Special Olympics by Marie Nicholson.
Thirty-one players from around the Leeds area played three games of seven ends with the top two players playing a final.
Michael Garton together with Steven Nicholson from Leeds won all three of their games and in the final Michael Garton was the winner with a score of 11 shots to 4.
The other Scarborough players, Edward Spencer and Jonathan Crookes were placed 4th and 5th
Michael Garton with Edward Spencer
Michael Garton wearing his Gold Medal

Woodlands School Pupils Respond Well to New Challenges at Centre
Sharon Ratcliffe (left) and Denise Marshall with pupils from Woodlands School listening to Albert Mouser from the Centre explaining the measuring technique
Grant Lenton, a teacher at Woodlands School in Scarborough whose pupils have a range of special educational needs, has found that the boys have responded well to the calm atmosphere and challenging new skills required at the Bowls Centre.

"Bowls seems like the perfect contrast to the noisy and vigorous other activities which are organised for the boys", said Grant, "A lot of the sports we try require a great deal of force with little finesse. In the game of bowls, however, the emphasis is on control, which has been a revelation to some of the boys and they have certainly enjoyed every minute"

Denise Marshall and Sharon Ratcliffe, staff at Woodland's School, which was described as 'an outstanding School' in a recent OFSTED report, said "We have always received a warm welcome and the staff are excellent at explaining the complexities of the game of bowls. It has become the highlight of the week"

The Scarborough Open Triples Spring Tournament 2010
Forty-eight bowlers from all over the local region took part in the annual Open Triples Spring Tournament 2010 held at the Scarborough Bowls Centre on Sunday 28th February.
Organised by Bob Dickens, Scarborough Club Men's Captain, assisted by Geoff Bint and Graham Middleditch, this popular tournament was supported by local company Independent Home Living, based in Scarborough, Beverley and York. Director Ann Wyatt said, "We are delighted to be again supporting the Scarborough Bowls Centre with this event and are thrilled by the continued overwhelming interest shown throughout the region." Teams played four other teams randomly over one-hour periods.

The winning team in each game scored 3 points with the total shot differences being added on to decide the overall positions. The results were:
First prize with a score of 12 and a shot difference of 32 - Kath Rowe, David Rowe and Brian Storry
Second prize with a score of 9 and a shot difference of 29 – Joyce Ryder, Brenda Foster and Peter McCutcheon
Third prize with a score of 9 and a shot difference of 22 – Jack Bird, Adie Bird and Ben Suggitt
The highest scoring team from each session was also awarded a prize.

Ladies County Representative, Margaret Fletcher, thanked Independent Home Living for their kind generosity in supporting the Tournament and introduced IHL Director, Ann Wyatt and Manager of the Scarborough office – Louise Cooke who presented the prizes.

L – R rear Ann Wyatt (Director of IHL), Brian Storry, Kath Rowe, David Rowe and Louise Cooke (Manager IHL Scarborough)
Front Graham Middleditch and Geoff Bint.
Second Prize winners Brenda Foster, Peter McCutcheon and Joyce Ryder with sponsors Ann Wyatt and Louise Cooke
Third Prize winners Jack Bird, Ben Suggitt and Adie Bird with sponsors Ann Wyatt and Louise Cooke

Chris Turnbull and Mike Worden Win National Visually Handicapped Tournament
L-R Steve Simmons-Chairman of the ENAVHB, Mike Worden, Tony Simmonds, Chris Turnbull and Mike Wheeler – Umpire.
Scarborough bowler Chris Turnbull partnered by Mike Worden from Gillingham, Kent won the National Indoor Pairs Competition, organised by The English National Association of Visually Handicapped Bowlers (ENAVHB), held at Scarborough Bowls Centre on 20th and 21st February. Both Chris and Mike represented England at the International Blind Bowling Association World Championships in Melbourne in 2009 where Mike gained a Gold Medal.

Chairman of the ENAVHB and Tournament organiser, Steve Simmons said, "This year we had 28 pairs in the competition from all over England including some competitors from as far away as Cornwall. The final between Chris and Mike against Keith Brenton from Gateshead and Paul Hawkes from London was exciting to the finish. As they started the final end, the scores were 7-5 to Chris and Mike with both sets of bowlers having drawn in the previous end. After a hard fought match, Chris and Mike finally won the Tournament with a score of 9 – 5"

"We are thrilled to be back in Scarborough," he continued,"as we are always made to feel very welcome and the facilities here are superb. In particular we find the lighting and acoustics excellent, both of which are important to visually handicapped players. I would like to give special thanks to Colin Rennard, the manager of the Centre and his wife Marilyn who have been so supportive and helpful and also to Derek who did such a splendid job with the catering."

Tony Simmonds, Chairman of Scarborough Bowls Centre, presented the trophies and thanked the organisers, the staff at the centre, the volunteer markers, the umpires and of course the bowlers themselves for making the Tournament so successful and he looked forward to welcoming them again next year.

Centre Welcomes New Head of Bowls Governing Body.
Scarborough Bowls Centre, one of the sport's most progressive venues in the country was delighted to welcome the new Chief Operating Officer of the EIBA, the Governing Body of Indoor Bowls in England, to discuss the future development of the game of bowls in England.
Peter Thompson has recently been appointed by the English Indoor Bowling Association (EIBA) to spearhead various initiatives to attract more players to the game and introduce new exciting ways to help local clubs battle against increasing costs.

Throughout the day, the board of directors and staff at the centre were able to exchange ideas about how the perceived image of the sport could be improved and membership increased to include more from the middle age group.

Peter was impressed to learn that the Bowls Centre in Scarborough was recently voted 'Top Community Sports Club' by the Scarborough Sports Council as well as beating off stiff competition to be awarded first place in a national 'Get Children Bowling'competition.
"I was delighted to be invited to visit Scarborough," said Peter,

"and I'm very impressed to see the vibrancy of the Centre and to learn about the new ideas you have implemented to attract visitors and prospective members including the successful 'come and try it' events and the introduction of new bowls related fun games."

"The facilities in Scarborough are first class," he continued, "and I know that primarily due to the excellent lighting on the green, the National Visually Handicapped Tournament is hosted at this centre and I will be recommending that more National Competitions are perhaps held here."

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tony Simmonds, thanked Peter for coming to Scarborough and agreed that the informal discussions had been very worthwhile and fruitful.

New Coaching Head Inundated with Prospective Members
The new Coaching Co-ordinator at Scarborough Bowls Centre is absolutely delighted with the tremendous interest shown in learning the game of bowls.

George Hodgson, who recently organised a 'Come & Try It' Event at the Centre said, "We have been inundated with requests from people who want to join our Free Coaching Courses, so much so that we are training up another new member to join our team of twelve fully qualified coaches."

George was introduced to Bowls by attending a similar event with his wife Joan just three and a half years ago. "Up until then we had never bowled at all." said George. "We are both quite competitive but my wife is naturally a better bowls player. We both enjoy the social side and earlier this year met new friends whilst holidaying in Cyprus when we were invited to enjoy a game at a local bowls club."

Don Broadbent, who was Coaching Co-ordinator for the last five years and coached George and his wife said, "I'm confident that George will do an excellent job. Both he and his wife are very keen players and their enthusiasm is already showing results."

Don Broadbent (left) handing over the reins of Coaching
Co-ordinator to George Hodgson
To learn more about the FREE coaching courses offered at the Centre contact Reception at Scarborough Bowls Centre on 01723 353992.

All age groups are welcome to attend the courses, which consist of four consecutive two-hour sessions.
A trial 3-month membership of just £72.50 is offered to those who complete one of the courses.

'Come & Try It' event at Bowls Centre proves to be a great success.
Twenty people from all age groups took the opportunity of trying Indoor Bowls, as an alternative indoor winter sport, at a successful 'Come & Try It for Free' event held at the Bowls Centre over the weekend.

Qualified coaches were on hand to help those who were new to the game and to give tips to others.

Organiser George Hodgson said, "We were delighted with the response and some have already signed up for the free coaching courses we offer"

Newcomers to the game, John Stead and Alice Cross said, "We often come to the Centre for a coffee but tonight we have thoroughly enjoyed trying out the game. It's quite tricky getting the speed and bias just right."

Colette Timmons who brought her ten year old son said, "Josh already plays several sports and seems to enjoy Bowls. Judging by the number of youngsters here tonight, it definitely isn't just for older people."

Alan and Chris Horton from Hunmanby who were delighted to again try a game that they hadn't played for twenty years said, "The facilities here in Scarborough are superb so we will be coming again"

Free coaching courses are offered at the Centre for those who are interested in learning more about this popular sport. All age groups are welcome to attend the courses, which are run by qualified coaches and consist of four consecutive two-hour sessions.

Further information is available from Reception at Scarborough Bowls Centre on 01723 353992
Pictured above are just some of the many people from all age groups who enjoyed the 'Come & Try It for FREE event

Centre marks 500th person to enrol for bowls coaching
Don Broadbent, head of coaching team, presenting flowers to, Vene Paget, whilst bowls coach George Hodgson presents wine to John Paget
John and Vene Paget, from Scarborough, were surprised and delighted to receive flowers and wine from Staff at the Scarborough Bowls Centre to mark their being the 500th and 501st to have enrolled on one of the popular coaching courses.

Complete beginners John and Vene, who have recently moved back to Scarborough after living for several years in the London area said, "We didn't expect this but are thrilled to receive such lovely presents." When asked what attracted them to the game of Bowls they said, "A close family friend of ours in Buckinghamshire is a keen bowler and when we saw the sign about free coaching, we thought we would give it a try. One of the main attractions, however, was that it is a game that we can share together. We are also very impressed with the staff here, they are incredibly friendly and we have been made to feel most welcome".

Head of the coaching team, Don Broadbent said, "Since we started these free coaching courses, the response has been amazing and we are delighted that we have reached this milestone in such a short time. The courses are run by qualified coaches and consist of four consecutive two-hour sessions. Groups are kept small so everyone receives personal attention. All age groups are welcome to attend and all the equipment required including Bowls and Bowling shoes are supplied on free loan."

18-year-old Louisa reflects on 12 great years of bowling
Louisa Pratt surrounded by just some of the trophies she has won
Whilst eighteen-year-old Scarborough girl, Louisa Pratt looks forward to studying Forensic Chemistry at Teesside University in the Autumn, she is also a little sad that, as a keen bowls player for the last twelve years, an enjoyable chapter in her life with her 'second family' will shortly be coming to a close.

It was at the age of six that Louisa was introduced to the game of crown green bowls by her grandparents and was amazed at how much she liked it. Soon afterwards she joined the Jumping Jacks club for under 18's at the then Alexandra Bowls Centre in Scarborough.

Reflecting on the enjoyable times she has had as a result of the game of bowls Louisa said, "Scarborough Bowls Centre is like my second home. I have made so many friends from all age groups and from different places. I love the game, it is great fun and definitely not just for older people. Many of the friends I have made will be friends for life."

One of Louisa's proudest moments was on her 18th birthday earlier this year, when she won the annual 2-wood Triples Tournament for under 18's with team mates Jack Bird and Ben Holt. The event, which was hosted by Scarborough attracted teams from Darlington, York, Hornsea, Selby and Thornaby.
"It was quite a tough competition,"she said,"but it was fantastic to win especially on my birthday."

Louisa is quite critical of some bowls clubs who do not seem to encourage young people to join them. "They need to realise that today's youngsters are the future of the game and need to be brought into the game and then constantly encouraged and supported. It is a fantastic and affordable alternative sport for young people like myself who don't regard themselves as natural athletes"

"I have been so lucky living in Scarborough," she continued, " where, under the leadership of Mike Preston, the under 18's are given every opportunity to try the sport. The younger members meet for two hours on Saturday mornings when they enjoy practice games and coaching sessions. There are also regular 'come & try it' events and local schools and youth organisations are frequent visitors to the centre."

Louisa would like to see more media coverage of the game, especially on TV as, despite the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are involved in the game, it is still regarded as a minority sport. She also thinks that the wider use of coloured bowls would make the game more spectator friendly.

The under 18's leader, Mike Preston said, " Louisa has been a great team member and this season has carried out the duties of under 18's captain with enthusiasm and flair. She is a great supporter of all the other juniors and we are delighted that during the coming months she will be playing as an adult in the Junior Development League. Each triples team in this league consists of 2 adults and 1 junior and each week the junior member is given the opportunity to be lead bowler, position 2 and skip. This is great experience for them especially when they have to tell the adults what to do"

Even though Louisa will be moving away from her beloved Scarborough Bowls Centre, she will continue bowling as she hopes to become a member of the Thornaby club where she has already met some of the members as past opponents. Ultimately she would like to follow in the footsteps of another Scarborough girl, Carole McLean, who was also a member of the under 18's section and is now a world class player.

Scarborough Mens Yorkshire County Team Makes History
The winning Scarborough Mens Yorkshire County Team:
Rear L-R J Austin, S Stamford, L Banks, A D Bird, P Dale, A Mouser, J Yeadon, B Truefitt, P Lees, S Taylor, J Weatherall, M Preston
Front L-R J Bird, R Dickens, G Bint (Captain), J Buckle (Vice Captain) S Price,
J Austin, J Hall

Not on photo M Worsley and P Corbett
Having recently become winners of the first division of the Yorkshire County League, Scarborough Mens County Team found that they had made history by being the only team to have won the second division and then going on to win the first division in consecutive years.

In two seasons of Yorkshire County League matches this conquering team have only lost one game.

Geoff Bint, Team Captain during this period of success said, ?After winning the second division last year and getting promoted to the first division, our aim for this season was merely to try to remain in this division. After surprising ourselves by winning the first few games however, our goal changed to reaching the top 3 so we could go forward to play in the Yorkshire League Challenge Cup. We are therefore absolutely delighted to be have reached the very top of this prestigious league.?

The first division of the Yorkshire County League for the 2008–9 season was made up of teams from Scarborough, Huddersfield, Featherstone, Thornaby, South Leeds, York, Hull, Ryedale and Hornsea. Each fielded a team of 16 players to play 2 wood 4?s with two teams playing away and two teams playing at home.

When asked about the team?s secret to their success, Vice-Captain John Buckle said, ?We have a great team spirit with everyone playing as a team and not individuals. Everyone has worked hard to earn a place in the team and they are proud to play for Scarborough?.

The team is now looking forward to play in the Yorkshire Challenge Cup at New Earswick on March 28th between the winners of the second division and the top three teams of the first division.

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