Torquay Bowls Club wins Stocklands Club of the Year at Bowls Australia's 2017 Awards Night
At the Bowls Australia 2017 Hall of Fame and Awards Night held at Crowne Plaza in Surfers Paradise on Thursday 26th October, 2017 the Torquay Bowls Club was named Club of the Year from 1870 clubs nationwide.
“This is an enormous achievement and honour for our club,” said Chairman Mac Smith.
He went on to say that the award acknowledges years of innovation in response to the social and demographic changes within the wider Torquay community. From a club in decline with only 170 members, separated from the main stream community by tradition and the perception it was only a club for the elderly, the club has reinvented itself to be more reflective and welcoming of the growing community which it now services.
During the award ceremony it was stated that although the Torquay Bowls Club excels in a number of areas such as Community Engagement, it is the Club’s Administration and membership initiatives that have led it to be recognised as a Lighthouse Club and the Australian Club of the Year. The new Club Board has also seen changes in club culture and developed a strong relationship with the locals that see the Torquay Bowls Club (TBC) as a new community hub.
The Club now has a combined membership of over 880 people with 401 affiliated bowlers. Twilight Bowls brings together over 240 people each week. The Club has also established a good relationship with both the Torquay College and Surf Coast Secondary College with ‘learn to play’ bowls sessions provided for students and overseen by club members.
The decision to employ paid staff has assisted in the management of the Club, the operation of the bistro and bar and the maintenance of the greens. However, there is still a large band of dedicated volunteers who organise and run social and twilight bowls, pennant games and championships, maintain the clubrooms and surrounds, as well as oversee the governance of the Club. There were over 180 members who attended the last Volunteer Appreciation function.
Mr Smith concluded that none of this would have been possible without the ongoing support of the Australian Federal Government, Victorian State Government, Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, the Club’s fifty sponsors including its major sponsor McCartney Real Estate, TBC members, Surf Coast Shire, Paul Holtschke from Bowls Australia and the wider community.
The club is now fully focussed on the expansion of its playing and social facilities in order to keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for use of the facilities. Post: 1 Nov 2017
Photos: Club Officials - Mac Smith, Rosemary Canning, Mick Slater, Tony Gall, Joe Issell Nigel Smith (retiring President Bowls Aust) Paul Holtschke (BA Reg Bowls Manager) Barbara Gilbert (President Bowls Vic) Graeme Bridge (CEO Bowls Vic) Amy Hogan (Stocklands Retirement Living Sponsor of Club of the Year)