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Stamford Indoor Bowls plans to finish season if the Government's Covid-19 restrictions are eased

Stamford Indoor Bowls Club is hoping the government’s pre-Christmas Covid-19 restrictions will be eased from early December and its members can ‘hit the ground running’ to finish suspended league fixtures and roll-ups.

Until the latest lockdown, members at their Exeter Gardens centre were able to bowl under Covid-secure conditions and play in friendly games and a cut down programme of domestic league matches.

Unplayed league games may have been lost but if bowlers can return immediately after lockdown at least a shortened season can be completed before Christmas and a new leagues can be formed with hopefully more teams.

Covid-secure action at Stamford Indoor Bowls Club will hopefully return next month.
Covid-secure action at Stamford Indoor Bowls Club will hopefully return next month.

And it’s not too late for teams to be added to the 2021 fixture schedules.

League secretary John Holroyd has set a December 1 deadline for new teams to be formed– either by using current members or those who delayed re-joining in September and wish to start bowling competitively again.

The club has a well-respected policy of social distancing and mask-wearing which was introduced in August and allows up to 30 bowlers at a time to play under English Indoor Bowling Association guidelines, while ensuring all equipment and surfaces are properly sanitized.

Chairman Keith Rippin commented: “The club is working hard to ensure the environment for playing bowls indoors is safe.

“Yes, we wear face-coverings in the building and on the green and observe social distancing but it is no real hardship and everyone accepts the measures.

“It is so important also for our social well-being to be able to re-connect with our bowling friends and I would encourage everyone who didn’t re-join in the autumn, to re-consider when from January 1 annual subscriptions will be halved (£27.50).

“It will also assist the club financially, as it has lost so much revenue since initially closing in March. The return of members will also help lift any threat of losing this great facility.”

As well as roll-up sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings and organised friendlies on Wednesday mornings there are 10 competitive leagues, chiefly in afternoons and evenings.

The club also organises coaching and introductory sessions for a limited number on Saturday mornings.

The government lockdown is tentatively due to end on December 2, when the club will advise its plans to allow members back, subject to clearance by the EIBA.

In the meantime potential new members and those re-joining should contact league secretary John Holroyd (01780 752660) if they wish to enter a team in one of the leagues from January or as an individual wish to be considered to join a team or create a new one. Current teams will be automatically re-entered unless they advise otherwise.

The club is hoping the women’s Tuesday afternoon triples league can be re-formed and the club is inviting bowlers interested in forming new teams to register at a special gathering on Tuesday, December 8 (2pm).

Those who have already formed teams for this league (scheduled to start on January 21) should contact the league secretary immediately.

The re-emergence of the league will be an important step in involving more women to continue or even take up bowls.

Free-to-enter club competitions in multiple disciplines including men’s, women’s and mixed are being arranged with entry forms available when the club re-opens.

For further information about the club visit their website www.stamfordindoorbowls.co.uk

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