If you’ve not heard of Crown Green Bowling before or, like I used to, you think it’s about idly rolling a ball on flat grass, prepare yourselves for a surprise!
Described very aptly as a hidden gem by the National Crown Green Bowling Calendar, this club hidden in plain sight offers one of the best forms of gentle exercise imaginable. Very few activities offer such a strong correlation of mind and body working together. We visited and found out why.
The club is part of the Greetland cricket, pigeon and Crown Green Bowling club. It can be found at the right of the cricket grounds, crossing a bridge that seems like out of a fairy tale and indeed, it feels like you enter an exciting new world!
Our host, Peter, a relatively recent member of the club who looks after the beginners group, said from the outset, the aim of this club is to offer the option to locals and not just, to socialise, exercise and have fun!
He patiently went into great detail about the rules of the game, why the balls are crafted to be held in a particular way to control how they veer and how the ground has an ever so slight slope towards the centre, the ‘crown’ of the field.
When playing, the bowler needs to adjust their position, aim, plan the veer of the ball and strength. It requires focus, concentration and good control of movements.
Still think Crown Green Bowling is as simple as that?
I admit to having jitters as I walked on the green with Kath, who offered to show me how to roll and lo and behold, beginner’s luck, I knocked the ball on the first try!! (no pictures of it sadly but it did happen!) I honestly felt very giddy about this and sad that I didn’t have time to play more! I bet however I couldn’t repeat that if I took a hundred tries, still I would like to do so!
Left to right: 1. Kath and Peter, two of the club’s members 2. Past picture of a competing team – many are still members of the club 3. Some of the club’s accolades displayed on the wall 4. The club doesn’t always take itself too seriously!
Kath told me how the club began shortly before the first Covid lockdown. They overcame the restrictions and are now back, at least until the end of September every year.
Greetland Bowling Club has mixed gender teams. There are exclusively ladies teams as well where up to two men may be part of the team.
Now that I know a little more about this, I can confirm that the Greetland ground has one crown.
On the day we were lucky to have a feature talk from Damian from DG Ozfit. He very encouragingly explained that fitness is more than diet and exercise, is striking the all important balance of looking after yourself while still enjoying life.
And this is what Greetland Crown Green Bowling promotes, a place where you can step in, leave your worries behind for a little while and invest yourself in something enjoyable, nurturing your wellbeing.
The game doesn’t require a great level of fitness and can adapt to each person’s capabilities. At the same time it is amazing at requiring the full application of one’s capacity and offers great enjoyment in return!
Several of the members of the club had simply walked in after either stumbling upon the club or through word of mouth, which goes to show how well the club is doing.
This is in all a wonderful opportunity, right at our doorstep.
It’s a great way to spend a few hours out in the lovely weather, in the midst of beautiful surroundings, doing something that is active enough to be stimulating, feeling more like a game than exercise, surrounded by friendly people – and having a brew and a biscuit?
It goes to show that there is always something to do. You just need to find it.
The single issue I have with this is that due to the seasons, the club closes at the end of September.
And if you are interested, the Pigeon club hosts a type of pigeon racing. Homing pigeons are set free from distances, sometimes as far as France and then return to the roost.
The Greetland Bowling Club meets every Friday from 10.30am from beginning of June to the end of September.
Think you’ve got what it takes?