From the Chairman.
Following the recent government announcement and information from Bowls England it will be possible to operate on the greens virtually as normal. All rinks can be used with a maximum of 48 bowlers allowed on the green and a restriction of 30 spectators. I am sure this will meet the needs of all our bowls clubs and means that the Saturday league will revert to normal play with 16 bowlers per team.
Certain safety restrictions are still in place as regards sanitisation and hopefully all of you will be providing those facilities. Whilst club Houses can open it is recommended that they be used only if essential and then masks and social distancing should take place.
Travel arrangements are changed to allow bowlers to share cars between venues which will be a big advantage. Please be sensible with these new arrangements and ensure your safety. The full details for Covid rules are on the H&DBA or Bowls England website.
As you are aware your executive has been concerned about the numbers of bowlers who will be coming back to the sport this season and that was one of the reasons that it was decided that there will be no promotions or relegation’s this year. We just want to have bowlers back playing and we will need to monitor numbers and teams as we go throughout the season.
The situation might well be getting brighter but it is a ‘still a suck it and see’ and most certainly in the early part of the season as clubs consider the number of players and whether they can support the teams they would normally have or indeed having enough players to support the existence of the club. We all have to be flexible and considerate to the present situation that some clubs are struggling for numbers to make up their teams and will not know for certain how many players they might have until the last moment.
What has struck me most notably during the past 15 months has been the return of the community spirit as people have gone out of their way to help others. Many people have lost loved ones, neighbours, friends and we have lost a number of our bowlers during the pandemic but this to me seems to strengthen our resolve to help others. As an old fogy who is passionate about bowling in Hartlepool I like to think we are a bowls community who respect their fellow bowlers and will help in way they can to ensure we play bowls in the friendliest manner in what may be a difficult season for some clubs in our association.
As soon as things open up fully, which hopefully be after the 21st June 2021, we will find a venue where we can have a secretaries meeting to determine how the season is progressing.
All of you should have had now your cheque for club house and green sanitisation together with extra jacks. Please be sensible and ensure your safety and that of others.
It only leaves me to say happy bowling and I look forward to seeing you all on the green throughout the season.
Please keep safe and healthy.
Yours in bowls