I am not surprised at the phenomenal reaction and response by everyone to the about turn by Horsham council to close down Horsham Indoor Bowls Club. Having previously recognised how popular this sport is the council now appears in self denial.
On looking at some of the council’s own research they quote ‘Sport England’ as stating that bowls is a ‘core’ facility although the council conveniently drop this reference further on. May I also quote them by repeating their own words quoting Emlyn Jones former CEO of Sport England - ‘Voluntary clubs are the third leg of the tripod of sports facility provision’.
Horsham bowls club emphatically tick that box. Horsham bowls club is run completely voluntarily and have at their own expense financed some refurbishment of the council premises by over £30,000. They should not be looked on as a cost to the community but in this case as a support to community!
Not popular? How is this?!! Although bowls is increasing in popularity with the young, yes, people of mature age do find bowls of particular appeal. To quote the council’s figures 42 per cent of Horsham residents will be over 50 by 2026, eight per cent will be over 80! The council also state that plans exist for over 2,000 new properties to west of Horsham and a ‘further significant increase in Southwater’. They also state that there will be little change in population in age group 0-19!
So bowls will be in demand , athletic sport will remain the same but bowls has to be decimated!
Looking at other council research they say that Sport England suggest Indoor Bowls should have 9.37 rinks in Horsham for current population. Horsham Indoor Bowls Club have eight rinks. Two years ago to appease the outrage of the public as a whole the council, among other things, offered a six rink facility. They are again in self denial. They now wish to promise nothing!
Skylark View, Horsham