City Memorial Bowls & Club Sunbury go ‘Undercover’ | Community Clubs Victoria

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City Memorial Bowls & Club Sunbury go ‘Undercover’

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A ‘Social Licence’ is a phrase touted throughout our current lives when experts speak on all matters ranging from political policy, major businesses’ governance and all forms of media communications

Written by Peter Franich 
CCV Manager Relationships and Gaming

Academics define it “as existing when a project has the ongoing approval within the local community and other stakeholders…Social License is rooted in the beliefs, perceptions, and opinions held by the local population…It can transcend approval when a substantial portion of the community and other stakeholders incorporate the project into their collective identity”‘

In our world the essence of a social licence is a Clubs’ “core reason for being”. Clubs exist for charitable, sporting, social and community-based activities. They are the very heartbeat of community inclusion and camaraderie.

We start this article at this high level, to make the point that while we act, play and participate in Club life, we as a whole, can undervalue just how important our clubs are to the mental and physical well-being of our communities. There is a constant struggle in many communities for our Clubs to gain the recognition of the efforts and understanding of their core reason for being throughout their local Councils and broader community.

We mention this on the back of two extraordinary renovations, one in regional Victoria’s “most livable city” Warrnambool and one in the “birthplace of the Ashes” Sunbury.

The City Memorial Bowls Club in Warrnambool and Sunbury Bowls Club have both recently opened amazing indoor bowling centres. These projects simply can’t even start without a consensus of ideas. Should we suggest a “social licence” to negotiate the project.

The extraordinary complex in Warrnambool began over three years ago. The President Ray Cooknell was reflecting on the whole process at the grand opening in September and noted that while the board and management worked tirelessly, there was a consistent and constant presence of volunteers from the membership. Long dialogue and meetings with their Local Council and many obstacles only seemed to increase the pleasure they all derived from the experience and achievement of this now irreplaceable facility for the community of Warrnambool and it surrounds. In all the project totaled over $3 million. Most of which was spent locally.

To emphasise how inclusive the event was among the dignitaries present were Ms Roma Britnell MP the Hon Tony Herbert Mayor of Warrnambool, Tony Sherwill CEO Bowls Australia, the entire board and representatives of all the suppliers and trades. We should not forget the members and volunteers who cheered loudly when the ribbon was cut and then enjoyed a celebratory dinner afterwards in recognition of everyone’s efforts.

General Manager Juile Dosser said “This is an exciting time for City Bowls Warrnambool…most clubs who have installed one roof have seen  and influx of members and activity, we are fortunate to be able to provide two greens undercover. This will benefit not only our members but the wider community and surely will increase participation in the sport of bowls and bring enormous event opportunities to our community”.

At Sunbury Bowls with the opening of the undercover green, as well as including the food and beverage concourse that sits above the action, the bar has been raised for what bowls clubs can offer bowlers and everyday patrons.

“The Club is excited to share this fantastic facility with everyone. It’s been great to see the bowler’s reactions, the joy experienced playing on the green, but it has also raised our profile within the local community. People are visiting to try the new food menu and are so impressed with the new bowls green that they stay for hours to bowl as well”, comments general manager Andrew Breedon-Walton.

Two big LED screens (5 meter by 3 meter) and five large 55” LCD TV’s flank the green and concourse, as well as ‘The Kiosk’ serving delicious café style meals and an extensive drinks menu, add to this ‘the fire pit’ on the end on the concourse, underneath one of the LED screens it isn’t hard to see why this new complex has been such a hit. Other features include a self-serve TAB betting terminal with Sky racing, Trackside, Fox Sports LIVE action on all screens and various sound zones along the concourse, creating a welcome environment for all tastes.

“What we are now able to offer, essentially, is bowls 365 days a year, we’re using this to offer extended barefoot bowling times, easy access for local schools, guaranteed play
for all functions booked, as well as a safe environment for those with disabilities to come and learn the game. It’s really enabling us to grow the game of bowls within Sunbury and the surrounding areas”, comments Andrew.

On April 14th at the Community Open Day which attracted over 400 local families, members, local superstar, club ambassador and Commonwealth games dual-goldmedalist, Carla Krizanic was the lucky person to send the first bowl on the new green, with Club Foundation and Life Member, Alan Smith delivering the kitty straight as a dye and in good length. Carla remarked – ‘It was an honour to bowl the first bowl at Sunbury’s new world class facility. I’m thrilled to have this amazing facility on my door step and looking forward to playing on the new green year-round”

Sport in itself, especially team sports like bowls, is such an important and vital ingredient in all our communities.

Leon Wiegard, President of CCV at the opening, made the point that “sport in itself, especially team sports like bowls, is such an important and vital ingredient in all our
communities. When a club provides these types of facilities and arenas
everyone benefits”.

It is heartening to see such a welcome and comprehensive acceptance of the projects
undertaken and delivered by these two Clubs and we are sure they will continue to be embraced by their local communities for years to come.

For other articles relating to Redevelopment please click here to view CCV December 2019 Hub – Governance Edition

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