Bowls Northamptonshire’s Greens Inspectorate Secretary, Harvey Fruish, has asked me to include a note about the Inspectorate, for he is losing another Greens Inspector who is moving out of the area, and he would very much welcome some additional volunteers to join his team.

As a former Greens Inspector myself, I can vouch for the great enjoyment and reward that doing this vital task on behalf of the County provides, and how much it is appreciated by all the Clubs that strive very hard to improve the surface to play on. Greens are generally inspected by teams of 2 Inspectors, and Harvey would like to build more teams.

He has a Training Session booked for Inspectors on Wednesday, 25th May, 2016, at Swanspool BC, Croyland Gardens, Swanspool Parade, Wellingborough, NN8 2BZ commencing at 10.15 a.m. and anyone who is interested is invited to contact him on 01604 627415 or by email at


Tom Wellburn, Kingsthorpe BC (indoor)and Northampton Express (outdoor) and Billie Swift, Abbey Park BC (outdoor) and Northampton & District IBC (indoor), both young bowlers in the County with a great interest and motivation to increase the participation in our sport byUnder 25’s of both genders, called a meeting on behalf of youth bowlers, on Thursday, 11th June, 2015, at Kingsthorpe BC, and, as they were particularly looking at the Indoor arrangements, invited all County Indoor Clubs to send a representative. All of the County Indoor Clubs had either a delegated representative or at least a club member who attended wearing ‘another hat’ which was encouraging for Tom & Billie.

Past President of Northamptonshire Indoor Bowling Association and its former Secretary of long standing was invited to chair the meeting, and other officers also in attendance were the County Safeguarding Officer, Brian Langton (Rushden Town BC indoor & outdoor), the Bowls Northamptonshire Development Officer, John Chester (Desborough IBC & Kettering Lodge BC), County Indoor Men’s President Trevor Tilley (Wellingborough IBC & Irchester BC), NIBA Secretary Don Scott (Brackley BC – indoor & outdoor), Senior Vice-President of the NIBA, Geoff Allen (Daventry IBC indoor & Heyford BC outdoor), Press & Publicity Officer Indoor & Outdoor, John Church (Wellingborough IBC indoor & Higham Ferrers Town BC outdoor).

These County officers were joined by several representatives of the Indoor Clubs, and they heard Tom Wellburn, in welcoming everyone to the meeting, talking about the vision of the young bowlers in the County, whose initiative to call the meeting was theirs, for they wished to increase the participation of young people in the sport. He spoke about increasing competitive matches for the Under 25’s for he knows that the young players want more competitive bowling, such as against Clubs and other Counties..

Tom informed the meeting that they had already arranged 3 friendly matches against club opposition, including Daventry IBC, Northampton & District IBC & Kettering Lodge IBC, and he was hoping for more clubs to come forward to put on matches for them. All matches would be mixed gender, and it was hoped that, although this initiative is aimed at all ages under 25, this would encourage and enable players from the group aged 18-25 years to play more, as those under 18 have the additional avenue already through the NBYDS. He also referred to their desire to increase inter County participation with possible matches against Warwickshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, and enquiries had already been started with representatives from those Counties.

They had already made some enquiries to set up a mixed double rink Eastern Counties League, and it looks very promising with Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire expressing interest. There is a cost implication for this League, including the setting up cost for trophies, and the necessity of having some affiliation fees, etc., and there is a need for the setting up of a set of Rules too, which could be published to all member Counties and individuals by email.

Tom also touched on the possibility of getting an Under 25 County League going to provide some additional competitive bowling, and this met with support from those present, as did all of the various matters which were being raised.

One very important aspect of the work that the young players have been undertaking in their discussions has been the importance of having a Team Identity, and this is achieved, not exclusively, but very importantly, by the wearing of a Team Playing Shirt. Enquiries have already been made by Tom and colleagues with some suppliers, and costings have been made, with most shirts coming out at around £25.00p each. This issue was the subject of much discussion, and the feeling was that it was very important for team identity and unity, and that the administration of the issue of shirts need to be well planned, for young people grow out of shirts so quickly that it might be necessary to have a good stock of shirts for issue on the match day and return after play, with some kind bowls lover prepared to wash them for the next match. (One such lady has been offered by me to do this important task, and she has agreed to do so – no prizes for guessing who she is!)

To facilitate the procurement of a stock of shirts, sponsorship was to be sought, and in that connection, if anyone reading this feels able to put up around £1500 .00p in sponsorship, the shirts issue would be solved, with the sponsor’s logo and name of course included on the shirt. Several possible sponsors are being pursued, and Tom Wellburn will sort out a graphic designer to draw up some designs. This is a very important part of the Under 25’s image in the County, and it is hoped that the necessary support will be forthcoming.

It was recognised by the young bowlers that if these team shirts are to be available for the commencement of the 2015 indoor season, there needs to be some fairly swift action, with, hopefully the designs attended to in June, approval for the designs in July with an order placed the same month, to allow the 8 week order time to be made for delivery before the start of the new season. Orders will be taken from the County’s young players during August.

The County Under 25’s have set up an email address for contact purposes, and it is hoped that anyone who would like to help with any of the issues raised, or have any suggestions for consideration, would use that address. It is


I publicised the Northamptonshire Sport ‘Club &Coach Development’ Road Show in my Report last week, and I have received the following note from Alex Le Guevel, Northamptonshire Sport, in connection with the event which is being held on the 6th July, 2017. Only 4 more days, but there may be places still available for any club that would wish to attend.

“Good afternoon,
Please see the following information regarding the upcoming Northamptonshire Club & Coach Development Roadshow.
The event is designed to provide a comprehensive evening of support for your club, covering essential topics such as funding, marketing and business planning.
With just under a week to go, I urge you to book your club’s places now to avoid disappointment! You can do so by following the link below:
I look forward to seeing you on the evening!
Best wishes,
Alex Le Guével”

Date: Thursday 6th July 2017
Time: 6pm - 9pm (buffet served on arrival and workshops running from 6.30pm - 8.30pm)
Location: Duston Sports Centre, Cotswold Avenue, Northampton NN5 6EX
Northamptonshire Sport, in partnership with Northampton Leisure Trust and Wellingborough Council, are pleased to announce the date for the 2017 Club and Coach Development Roadshow. This year the event will be taking place on Thursday 6th July from 6-9pm at Duston Sports Centre.
There will be three workshops available at this year’s event; Developing a Marketing Strategy, Developing a Business plan and Attracting and Securing Funding.

The cost of the event is £10 per club, which allows you to bring 3 club representatives along. We would like to encourage clubs to send a representative to each workshop so that they get maximum benefit from the event.

In 2015, 100% of clubs that attended the event suggested that they would recommend this as a must to other local clubs. Not only is there an opportunity to enhance your club from the workshops on offer, there is also an opportunity to network with other sports clubs and sports development professionals from your area.

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