In a major boost for bowls in the South East, Dandenong Club has committed to invest $1.4m in the development of an undercover bowls centre. A new green, roof, viewing area and surrounds will replace one of the clubs existing grass greens. The Club’s award-winning café, dining and conference facilities will be integrated into the new facility
The facility is being described as hub for bowls with a 12 month, seven days per week bowls program. The club’s plans include the engagement of a centre manager, coach and bowls co-ordinators. This facility will provide the everyday bowler the opportunity to play at a venue equal to any in the state.
The club chose Tiger Turf weave as its preferred surface. The choice was made based on the need to maintain a consistent speed and finish to the bowl. The surface is ideal for major tournament play and equally appropriate for the everyday bowler.
The roof to be completed by Lightweight Structures uses a wishbone configuration of large sections of heavy duty pipe and valley cables resulting in minimalist design lines, improved functionality, aesthetics and reduced cleaning maintenance.
The inherent beauty of the structure lies in the underbelly of the fabric canopy and the ambient internal environment created within the structure
Over the past two years the club has set about reviving bowls activity at the club. Bowls club membership has grown 25%, and a heavy focus on more casual bowls this summer season has resulted in over 3000 occasions that casual bowlers took to the club’s greens.
Club General Manager, Ross Dunlop said recently “Changes to the demographic of the typical bowler has resulted in the need for more variation in the type of bowls we offer.  We’ve reintroduced, night pennant, as well as Tuesday and Saturday pennant teams but we now run Jack Attack competitions and regularly open the greens for barefoot bowls, schools’ programs and Corporate events.  Its important that we consider making bowls available for the times that potential players can participate.  Once completed in September 2018 we can offer far more when weather proofed”
He went on to say “Whilst bowls remains a fantastic way for retirees to stay competitive and active, we can’t survive on hoping ever bowler has a full day to devote to bowls. Our new hub will provide new and affordable opportunities for more bowlers to bowl more often”
Works are planned for commencement in April and the Dandenong Club is already speaking with peak bodies to schedules significant events at the Hub.
Staff appointments are next with the selection of the Hub’s coach a priority.  The centre will maintain a retail outlet so that local bowlers have access to a range of affordable quality equipment
Further enquiries to Dandenong Club General Manager, Ross Dunlop 0402 296 284

Figure 1 Sebastopol Bowls Club under cover green built by Lightweight Constructions

Figure 2 Moama Bowls Club surrounds similar to those planned for Dandenong Club

Figure 3 Entertainment and viewing areas are planned similar to those Moama Bowls Club

Figure 4 Dandenong Club green up for an upgrade in 2018