Campbelltown lawn bowls club ushers in new generation

It’s one of the only sports where you can be at your peak for decades.

So it comes as no surprise that a lot of younger players are flocking to greens to take up the sport of lawn bowls.

And Campbelltown Bowling Club is living proof.

The club has seen an influx of young members sign up over the past few years – proving that the sport is not only a game for those in their twilight years.

One of those youngsters in Jake Alchin.

The 29-year-old Bradbury resident has been rolling up for about five years.

Mr Alchin – who also serves as one of the club’s directors – said while the physical side might not be as strenuous as others sports, mentally it was brutal.

“It’s definitely a mental game,” he said.

“You play 21 ends, sometimes 25, so you’re out there for three hours and you have to concentrate on every bowl.

“On hot days I don’t understand how some of the older guys do it.”

Leumeah resident Jack Best, 30, was introduced to the game by his grandfather – a former district champion in Liverpool.

When he signed up to the club two years ago, he was unsure of what the response from the older members would be.

“The response was surprisingly really good,” he said.

“A lot of the older guys there take you under their wing.

“The top grade at Campbelltown has players in their 60s and 70s, down to players who are mine and Jake’s age.

“Some of those older guys could still bowl in the top grade when they’re 100.”

Life member Bill Cook joined the club 40 years ago.

The 72-year-old club secretary said he noticed an influx of younger players particularly in the last five years. He took comfort knowing the club would be in good hands for future generations.

“We are all for (the influx of younger players) – well most of us are,” he said.

“You do get some narcs every now and then.

“Four out of the seven directors are 40 years or younger so we are happy they will take over and steer the club into the future.

“It makes me feel a little more comfortable.”

Mr Cook said the dynamic of the club had changed so much that a player aged in their 20s was now actually the club’s senior champion.

Mr Alchin encouraged other people in younger generations to sign up and join a club and said there were a number of advantages to choosing lawn bowls over other more psychically demanding sports.

“I grew up playing footy but with lawn bowls you don’t get hurt so you can back up at work on the Monday,” he said.