Planned bowls zone rejig slammed

CENTRAL North District Bowls Association president Bob Key describes plans to add clubs as far afield as Bourke to the current Zone 3 are ridiculous.

He’s hoping  bowlers, male and female, within the current Zone 3 will fill out a discussion paper giving their personal feedback.

Those discussion papers are currently available at all clubs.

Key said as many bowlers as possible needed to complete those forms and return them so a sensible decision on Zone boundaries could be made.

He said the directors of the NSW Women’s Bowling Association and Royal NSW Bowling Association openly invite all bowling members within the state “to review and provide feedback on the proposed composition and distribution of   zones and regions”.

“We have about 2500 men and women bowlers in our Zone (3),” he said.

“We want them all to look at the review proposals and complete the review. 

“It’s the only way we might get a good outcome. 

“I’d hope at least 50 per cent might respond.

“Nothing has been decided yet but we need as many people as possible to make them aware of how they feel.

“Because it is a ridiculous proposal.”

Key said the new zones/regions outlined in the discussion paper are not final and have been proposed as an objective starting point by an independent sports 

consultant.

The changes would have towns such as Bourke, Coonabarabran, Coonamble and Tenterfield added to the Zone 3 boundary.

“Currently our boundary goes from Willow Tree in the south to Glen Innes in the north, 281kms and then west to Lightning Ridge, 400kms. That’s 112,000 square 

kilometres.

“Under the new proposed zone, we’d go from Willow Tree to Tenterfield and out to Bourke – that’s 277,000 square kilometres.

“Our farthest trip is from Armidale to Walgett – that’s just on 550km.

“Under the new boundaries, Armidale to Bourke is 750km.”

That enormous distance would mean clubs would be facing four-day pennants competitions.

In the case of Zone 3 there are five associations – Gwydir, New England, Central Northern, North West and Barwon.

There are 34 clubs.

This year Lightning Ridge and Goodooga won State men’s pennants and West Tamworth won ladies’ pennants.

 Key said the travel impost was unfair and points to Sydney where the longest trip might be  Bondi to Penrith.

Finding a different solution must be paramount for the clubs but, to do that, Key needs all  bowlers within the five Zone 3 districts to complete their discussion papers, frankly and honestly.

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